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THE CENTRAL CONCEPTION OE BUDDHISM 

AND 

THE MEANING OF THE WORD “DHARMA” 



THE CENTRAL 
CONCEPTION OF EUDDHi$M 


AND THE 

MEANING OF THE WOEID “DHARMA” 


By 

TH. STCHERBATSKY 



SUSIL GUPTA (INDIA) LTD 

35 Chittaranjan Avenue 

CALCUTTA 12 



By Arrangement with the Royal Asiatic Society of 
Great Britain 6* Ireland 


First Edition, London, 1923 
Second Edition, Calcutta, 1956 


Published by S. Gupta for Susii Gupta (India) Ltd., 35, Central 
Avenue, Calcutta 12 and Printed by M. K. Mukerjee from 

Temple Press, 2, Nayaratna Lane, Calcutta 4 



CONTENTS 


Page 


Preface 


vii 

Chap. 


I. 

Preli.min.ary 

1 

II. 

Skandhas ... 

5 

III. 

A VAT ANAS 

6 

IV. 

Dhatus 

8 

V. 

Ei.ements of Matter 

9 

VI. 

Elements of Mind ... ... 

1?) 

VII. 

Forces \ 

17 

VHII. 

Non-Substantiality of Elements 

21 

IX. 

Pratiiy'a Samutpada (Causality) 

23 

X. 

Karm-a 

2b 

XI. 

Imperivlanance of the Elements ... 

31 

XII. 

Impermanence in S.ankhya Yoga ... 

36 

XIII. 

Unrest of the Elements 

40 

XIV. 

Theory of Cognition 

44 

XV. 

Pre-Buddhaic Buddhism 

54 

XVI. 

SUxMMARY 

60 

Appendix 

I. Vasubandhu on the foundamental prin- 



ciple of the SaiY^astivada School 

(32 

Appendix II. Tables of the Elements according to the 



Sarvastivadins 

78 

Index of 

Proper Names 

91 

Index of 

Sanskrit Terms 

92 



PREFACE 


This short treatise was originally conceived as a contribution 
to the Royal Asisatic Society’s Journal: its size induced the 
Council to publish it as a monograph, and m\ best thanks are 
due to the Council for this kind decision. I must also express 
my gratitude to Mrs. C. A. F. Rhys Davids, who was always 
ready to help -with her vast knowledge of Pali literature. 
Professor H. Jacobi kindly went through the proofs, and to him 
I am indebted for many a valuable suggestion. Dr. McGo\'ern 
contributed some of the references to Chinese sources. But my 
deepest gratitude is due to Dr. F. W. Thomas, who de\oted 
much of bis precious time to the revision of my work and to 
earning it through the press. 

In transliteration I have usually not distinguished the 
guttural etc. nasals, when occurring before the consonants of 
their respective classes. 


July, 1923. 


Th. Stcherbatsky 



1. PRELIMINARY 


In a recent work* Mrs. M. Geiger and Professor W. Geiger 
have made an attempt to solve the uncertainty which still 
prevails about the meaning of the term dharma} They have 
drawn up a concordance of almost every case where the word 
occurs in Pali canonical literature, and established a great 
variety of meanings. Among them there is, indeed, only one. 
that really matters, that is the specifically Buddhistic 
te chn ical term dharma. The other significations which 
Buddhist literature shares with the Brahmanical do not 
present any serious difiSculty. About this meaning the 
authors rightly remark that it is a “central conception of the 
Buddhist doctrine which must be elucidated as far as possi- 
ble.” They also contend that the method followed by them 
is “purely philological.” This is also an indication of the 
limitations of their work, because the central conception of 
a highly complicated system, a conception which in its varied 
connotations includes almost the totality of the system, 
cannot be expected to be fully elucidated by “philological” 
methods only. We therefore propose, in addition to Mrs. and 
Professor Geiger’s most valuable collections, to consider the 
matter from the philosophical standpoint, i.e., to give, with 
regard to this conception, a succinct account of the system in 
which it admittedly occupies the keystone position. Our 
chief source will be, not the Pali Canon, but a later work, the 
Abkidharmakoca of Vasubandhu.® Although late, it is pro- 

•A.D. 1923 in which year the first edition of this book was 
published. 

^ Pali Dh&mma, von Magdalene u. Wilhelm Gfeiger, Munich, 

® A plan of an edition and translation of the whole work has been 
outlined and partly carried tbrongh by the Bibliotheca Buddhica at 
Petrograd. There have appeared, (1) Ahhidha^ma-hoca-haTika and 
Bha&ya, Tibetan text, pt. i. edited by Professor Th. Stcherbatsky, 
Petrograd, 1917 ; (2) SphvtQrthahhidn^zrma-hosa-vyakhya of Yasomitra,- 
Sanscrit text, pt. i, edited by S. Levi and Th. Stcherbatsky, Petrograd, 
1917- The second parts pf both these works, Tibetan text edition br 
Professor Th. Stcherbatsky and Yyakbya (Sanscrit) by Professor W: 
Wog^ara of Tokyo, are bei:^ printed in the Bibliotheca Buddhica. 
English translation of the ninth (additional) part has been published bjr 
Profes^^r Th. Stcherbatsky under the title *‘The Soul Theory of the 
Buddhists” in the Bxdhtin de TAcadeime des Sciences de Bttssie, Petro- 
grad, 1900 (pp. 823-54 and 937-58). A review of the system has been 
published by the late Professor 0 Bosenberg, of .Petrograd University; 
under the title Problems of Buddhist Philosophy, Penrograd, 1918 (in 
Russian). This scholar has also issued an index of . Buddhist tediaical 



9 


THE CENTRAL CONCEPTION Of BUDDHISM 


fessedly only a systematized exposition of a much /fariier 

work the Adhidharma-vibkasa-skasira^ which, in its turn, is but 

a commentar}- on the abhidharma of the Sarv'astivadin school. 
This school is one of the earliest, if not the earliest, of 
Buddhist sects. The question upon which it dissented and 
from which it received its name had a bearing on the essence of 
what w^as called a dharma, so that an exposition of its views 
will afiord the best opportunity of examining the full con- 
notation of this term.- It must be left to later investigation 
to determine the points where Vasubandhu’s exposition may 
be at variance with the primitive doctrine; but, generally 
speaking, he seems to have rendered the original doctrine very^ 
faithfully. Since his age is about the same as that of the 
Pali commentaries,'^ the difference between him and the 
Pali sources is not so much one of time as of school. Nothing 
is more instructive than the study of the divergent views of 
different schools, since it allows us to watch the builders of 
the Buddhist doctrine at work. 

The formula of the Buddhist Credo (ye dhamma^ etc.) — 
which professedly contains the shortest statement of the 
essence and the spirit of Buddhism^ — declares that Buddha 
discovered the elements (dhamma) of existence, their causal 
connexion, and a method to suppress their efficiency for ever 
(nirodho). Vasubandhu makes a similar statement about the 


terms in Chinese and Japanese under the title A7i. Introduction to the 
study of BuddJmm from Chinese mid Japanese Sources^ Tokyo, 1917. 
Professor de la Vallee Poussin has published in Brussels a French 
translation of the third part, and is now engaged in printing a translation 
of the first and second parts of the Abhidhmrma-hoaa. 

* Beside Mrs. and Prof. Geiger the question has been treated by Mrs. 
Bhys Davids, Bud. Fsy. Ethics, xxxiii; Walleser, Grundlage, 97-104,* 
Warren, Buddhism in Translations, 116-^; S. Z. Aung, Com/pendmmy 
179 n,, 254-9; S. Levi, SvtraJamhaTa^ 18, 21; L. de la Vallee Poussin, 
Notes SU7 les corps du Bouddha, Museon, 1915, pp. 265, The ques- 
tion has been put in the proper H^ht and brilli^tly treated by Professor 
0. Boaenberg, Prohiems, chap, vi; but, since his work is written in 
Eoesian and inaccessible at present, sonae of his results are repeated hereT 

* Ti® date of Vasubandhu is not yet quite settled; cf, the references 
in V. -SEHth, Early Bistory, 3rd ed., pp. 2S8 ff. At the end of chap, 
riii Va^bandhu remarks that in his time the agama had had an existence of 
1^009 (lidt 900) yeauB, and the odJUgma {= ahhidharm^ ^©mewhat less 
than that.’ That there vs&re two Vasubandhus is not “a guess with no 
solid bans'’ ; the Kosa actually quotes the opinions of a vriddhacharya 
Vi^subandha and rejects them {i. 13, Tibetan text, p'. 25; of. Yasomitra’s 
oeinment). There remain the dates of the Chinese translations of the 
wndbs of A^ga and Vssid>andhu, which alone, if correct, would he 

erida*^ to assign them to the fourth century. Otherwise one 
foals hsdiJted to bring Vasub^gadtHi nearer to ^[gnaga, whose teadbcr he 
'wns- 

* Of. MtAxmagga, i. 25. 



I. PRELIMINARY 


3 


£ssend^of the doctrine: it is a method of converting the ele- 
ments of existence into a condition of rest, out of which they 
never will emerge again.^^ From the hrst days of the Buddhist 
church the novices, before obtaining admittance into the 
order, went through a course of instruction in what may be 
termed the Buddhist catechism, i.e., an exposition of the 
elements (dharma) of existence and their different classifica- 
tions into skundhas^ uydtcinas^ dhatusJ Xhe same training 
was considered indispensable for the aspiring nuns.® These 
conditions have not changed down to the present day in all 
Buddhist countries. In the whole of Mongolia and Tibet, in 
those parts of Siberia where Buddhism is spreading against 
the primitive Shamanism among the Tunguz tribes of 
Transbaikalia, in the governments of Irkutsk and Astrachan, 
where it is maintaining itself against orthodox Christianity — 
everywhere it invariably proceeds by starting religious schools 
{chos-grvo), where manuals similar to the Dhamma-samgani 
contairdng tables of dharmas are carefully studied, in the 
Tibetan original with explanations in vernacular, by the 
young generation aspiring to be admitted to the order and 
to be gradually promoted to the higher ecclesiastical ranks. 
Scholars of Buddhism in Europe will do well to follow this 
example. 

A school of Buddhists which claims as its fundamental 
doctrine the principle that ‘'everything exists' ’ has very 
naturally been supposed to uphold some kind of realistic 
tdews.^ Tradition afiSrms that the question which gave rise to 
this sect had been discussed at the time of Buddha himsdf. 
If a division arises in a community with the result that some 
of its members are declared to be, or claim to be, realists, one 
would naturally he led to suppose that there were others who 
were non-realists, i.e., idealists of some kind. But, as a mat- 

« Ab. K., i., 1, Tib. text, p. 5, H. 12-13. 

^ Of. Th&ragaihcL, 1255 ; 

tasscJiam 'vacarwm sutva hhandhe apatancmi ca 
dhatuyo ca vidUvtma 'pabbajim anagariyim. 

* Cf. Geiger’s references to TherigathaSf op, cit., p. 65 j the dhatus 
there mentioned are probably the eighteen dhxtu$ {nqt jbhe .six); ^ 
nnanber of other divisions Into dbMvs are nientioned ia the 
ef- db. jE'., i., Tib. text, p. 

•So TakaJmsn s.v. in Sastings" Bncydopoedia, S. Z. 

Mars. O. Davids, Pomts of CtmiroveTcp, pp. 2*^-6, 

that the qxiestion bears npon the existeoee of future and 
,hnt ffiis does not mean that believied in 

existence of everythii^-” This wmd Api^ing dnfco 
against vMeh BnddhM phfioeoiiheTs vpwe idsBajpe 
Appendix I- 



4 


THE CENTRAL CONCEPTION OF BUDDHISM 


tei' of fact, we do not meet with views definitely idealist]^, i.e,^ 
with the denial of the existence of external objects, until a 
comparatively late date. Considering, on the other hand^ 
that these ivouid-be realists, like all Buddhists, denied the 
existence of a soul or a personality (atman, pudgala), our 
uncertainty increases, and the suspicion arises that the battle 
betw^een the San'astivadins and their opponents was fought 
on an altogether different plane, about a question which had 
little to do with our conceptions of realism and idealism. 

The occasion upon w-hich Buddha himself is supposed to 
have put forward the watchword ' ‘everything exists'" w^as a 
discussion with the Ajivikas, who flatly denied the influence 
of past deeds upon our destinies, since they w^ere past and 
non-existent.^^ This sect upheld a kind of extreme determi- 
nism which served as excuse for moral incontinence; it main- 
tained that ‘'all things are inalterably fixed. There is no 
cause, either proximate or remote, for the depravity of being, 
or... for its purity... There is no such thing as power or 
enexg)- or human exertion. Everything that thinks, has senses, 
is prooreated, and lives, is destitute of force, power or tntrgy. 
Their varying conditions, at any time, are due to fate, to their 
enwonment and their own nature.’"i2 Buddha’s teaching, 
both in the moral domain and in ontolog)^ w^as the reverse of 
this; it maintained moral responsibility and at the same time 
transformed all existing things into a congeries of subtle 
energies (samskara-samuhay When pressed to say what was 
m^t by the words ‘‘everything exists,” he answered “every- 
thing exists means that the twelve ayatanas exist.’"is Now the 


The Buddhists themselvss ascribe the origin of their ideafistic 
plulosopfay to Yasubandhu,* cf. my article in the Mnseon, 1905, ii. But 
this was evidently only^ a revival of a tendency which, in a different form, 
was already revealed in the works of Asvaghosa and Nagarjuna, Ah. 
K. bears witness that idealistic views were already discussed in the* 
Vihhma^shmtm; cf. i, 42, Tibetan text, p. 77, lO; and Yashomitra’e 
cranment- 


Ah. K. ad v, 24; cf. Appendix I, 

Cf. B. Hoemle’s article in Bastings' Wncydo'poedia. 


This passage {Samyvhtagama, xiii, p. 16 (McGk>vem) cannot be 
traced in Pali Canon.^ Evidently the Theravadins suppressed ft 
Dwa^e it did sot agree with their particular tenets. They accused the 
yatsiputnyas of having suppres^d the passages which ran* against their 
YXQVfB (Som TTieorif^ p. 840), and evidently did themselves the same. But 
ev^ m their school the word sahhu seems to have been used rather like 
a tehnical term. It did not ‘-‘everythisg,” but every item of the 

B^dh^ table of elements. This table was supposed to be an “exhaus- 
ravs dmsion : of Mrs. Bhys Davids, Buddhist Psychology, n. 41 r ' 
Samy^, iv, ’,7^ddl>.i-Magga, ch. xiv! WarreL Bvidhum in- 
irmslatwn, p. 158; G. Gnmm, BvddTiism’us, passim. 



II. SK.^\I>HAS 


5 


twelve ayatanas are merely one of the many classifications of 
the elements of existence of matter and mind. The Sarrasti- 
vadin school admitted seventy-five such elements. These 
elements were called dharmas. The full meaning of the term 
will emerge at the end of this article; at present we take it to 
mean an ultimate entity, the conception of which in the dom- 
ain of matter, excludes the reality of everything except sense- 
data, and in the field of mind, of everything except separate 
mental phenomena. We will begin by reviewing the different 
kinds of elements and their various classifications, and then 
proceed to determine what was the Buddhist conception of an 
element of existence. This will lead us to ascertain more 
precisely in what sense the older Buddhist doctrine may have 
a claim to be called a realistic system. 

II. SKANDHAS 

The simplest classification of all elements of existence is 
represented by a division into five groups of elements: (1) 
matter, (2) feelings, (3) ideas, (4) volitions and other faculties, 
and (5) pure sensation or general consciousness.^^ If we 
realize that the group of matter represents no other matter 
than sense-data, that a soul is excluded and replaced by feel- 
ings, ideas, volitions and pure sensation, we cannot but be 
surprised that from under a cover of Oriental terminology 
an epitome of matter and mind emerges which very nearly 
approaches the standpoint of mcdern European science. 

Three of these groups, namely, feelings, ideas, and pure 
sensation, contain one element {dharma) each. They are, 
nevertheless, called groups because they include feelings, etc., 
as past, present, and future, proximate and remote, external 
and internal, morally pure or impure, etc.^'^ The group of 
matter includes ten elemaats, ten different varieties of sense- 
data.^® The group of volitions, etc,, includes fifty-eight ele- 
ments, various mental faculties and general forces. 

The physical elements of a personality, including its 
outer world— the external objects — are represented in this 

/ 

The reasons for these renderings of the terms rufa, veffana, 
-■^sanijna^ samskaru, and vijnana wili be given later on, 

Ab. K,, i. 20. 

Ibid., j, 14. 

All the .^amsMras except vedana and samjm, ibid,, i, 15. The 
Ihree eternal elements — asojnshrta^arQ not incinded in the akmdKm 
Ibid., i, 22. Together with avijuap^^rupa this wUl make seventy-five 
4?leTnent,s in all. 



6 


THE CENTRAL CONCEP'ilON Of’ BLDDHii^M 


classification by one item — ^matter;^^ the mental ones are dis- 
tributed among the four others. 

For ^‘Matter and Mind’’ the old, pre-Buddhistic term 
nama-TUpa is used, where rupa represents the elements of 
matter and nama includes the four mental classes. 

But the most general division of all elements is into mat- 
ter {rupa), mind {citia-caitta), and forces (samskara). The 
fourth group (samskara-skandha), which includes mental facul- 
ties and general forces, is here split into two parts; the mental 
faculties are then united to ail other mental groups, and are 
brought under the head of mind; the general forces or ener- 
gies receive a separate place (citla'Vipray ukta-sams kara).'^^ 
This threefold division is very popular and known in Mon- 
golia and Tibet to every schoolboy.-® 

in. AYAI ANAS 

A second, more detailed, classification of the elements is made 
with a view to a division into cognitive faculties and their 
objects. There are six cognitive faculties and six categories of 
corresponding objects. They make the twelve ayatanas or 
‘‘bases’^ of cognition, viz.: 

I. Six internal bases (adkyatrna-ayatana) or recpective 
faculties {indriya), 

n. Six external bases (bahyaayatam) or objects (visaya)^ 

1. Sense of vision (caksurdndriya-ayatana). 

2. Sense of audition {crotr-endriya-ayatana). 

3. Sense of smelling (ghran-endriya-ayatanay 

4. Sense of taste (jikv-endriya-ayaJtana). 

5. Sense of touch (kay-endriya-^yatona). 

6. Faculty of the intellect or consciousness (mana- 
indriya-ayatana), 

7. Colour and shape (rupa-ayatana). 

8. Sound {sabda-ayatana) 

9. Odour (gandha-ayatana) 

10. Taste (rasa-ayatam) 

** Ant oug tie pliysical elements there is one cafied Q.vij%cipti which 
fetoadly ooMesjTOttds to what we might call the moral character of a 
: fc^ some special reasons it is entered by ^e Sarvastivadins in 
thmr i^ysical class {nipa), bnt other schools ihclnde it in mind (Ab, K,, 
i, tl). In the and dhatn classifications it is included ‘not in the- 

^ysical items, hot in the general class dhctrTiMdi, i,e. ayatana or dhatu 
Mo. 12. In the followisig account we leave this special element unnoticed 
^ II, under Matter. , ’ 

. It sli^tly dfiffering fivefold division: rtepa, eitta, cmUa^ 
and mrvaam; cf. Ah. K., ii, and Appendix II. 

" Z^><;et4im-min-Mn‘hfed. 



lU. AYATANAS 


7 ^ 


11^ Tangibles {sprastavya-ayatanay 

12. Non-sensuous objects (dharma-ayatana or dharmah). 

In this classification the eleven fiirst items correspond to 
eleven elements {dharma), each including one. The twelfth 
item contains all the remaining sixty-four elements, and it is 
therefore called dharma-ayatana or simply dharmah, i,e,, the 
remaining elements. 

The term ayatana means ‘‘entrance'* (ayam tanoii). It is 
an “entrance^ ^ for consciousness and mental phenomena 
{citta-caitianam). Consciousness, it is stated, never arises 
almie, since it is pure sensation, without any content. It is 
always supported or “introduced” by two elements: a cogni- 
tive faculty and a corresponding objective element. These 
are the supporteis or the “doors’' (dvara) for consciousness to 
appear. Visual consciousness {caksur-vijnana) arises in cor- 
relation (pratitya) with the sense of vision (caksur-indriya) and 
some colour (rupam. ca). In the case of the sixth cognitive 
faculty {manas), consciousness itself, i.e., its preceding 
moment, acts as a faculty for appiehending non-sensuous 
objects. 

Ihc trend of this classification, which is a characteristic 
feature of Buddhism from its very^ beginnings, is unmistak- 
able. It intends to give a division of aU objeas of cognition 
into sense-objects and nonsensuous ones. The first axe then 
divided into ten groups according to the five senses and their 
five objects, and the second {dharma^ayatana, or simply 
dharmah), including every nonsensuous object, is left undi- 
vided. There are six items corresponding to six cognitive 
faculties. Thus the twelve ayatanas, or “bases of cognition,’^ 
represent all elements of existence distributed within six sub- 
jective and six corresponding objective items. Their synonym 
is “everything^^ (secnmni). When the principle “everything, 
exists’^ is set forth it has the meaning that nothing but the 
twelve bases of cognition are existent. An object which 
cannot be viewed as a separate object of cognition or 
a separate faculty of cognition is unreal, as e.g., the soul, or 
the personality. Being a congeries of separate elements it is. 
declared to be a name, and not a reality, not a dharma 

The right explanation of the term a^^€ct(xm is given in O. Rosenberg’s 
ProUkfms^, p. ISB ff. The usual translation ‘‘fipbeire’'’ ignores the* 
f^ndammtum dimsionia. S. Z. Aong, Comg^ndiuis^, p, 2S6, although 
containing the suggestion, thinfe it “mi^t weH be left untrans- 

lated.’* 



TEE CENTRAL CONCEPliON OP BUDDHISM 


IV. DKL\TUS 

The division of the elements of existence into eighteen 
dhatus, although ver>^ similar — it represents, indeed, in its 
first twelve items a repetition of the former one — is taken 
from a quite different view-point. Buddhist philosophy is an 
analysis of separate elements, or forces, which unite in the 
production of one stream (samtana) of events. The unphilo- 
sophic mind of common people supposes this stream to 
represent a personality or an individual (pudgala). Viewed 
as components of such a stream the elements are called 
dhatus. Just as different metals (dhatus) might be extracted 
out of a mine, just so does the stream, of an individual life 
reveal elements of eighteen different kinds (dhatu^ gotra)?^ 
It always includes six faculties (from caksur-dhatu up to 
mano-dhatu), six kinds of objective elements (from rupa-dhatu 
up to dharTnaydhatu), and six kinds of consciousness, begin- 
ning with visual consciousness, or visual sensation (caksur- 
vijnana-dhatu), and ending with consciousness purely mental, 
i.c., non-sensuous {mam-vijnana-dhatu). Thus, in addition 
to the twelve components corresponding to the twelve bases 
of cognition, we have: — 

13. Visual consciousness {caksur-vijnaym-dhatu), 

14. Auditory „ {srotra-vijnana-dhaiu). 

15- Olfactory „ (ghrana-vijnana-dhatu), 

16. Gustatory „ (jihva-vijnana-dhatu). 

17. Tactile „ {kaya-vijnana-dhatu), 

18. Non-sensuous „ (manc-vajnana-dhatu). 

^ Consciousness, which is but one element (dharma), is 
split in this classification into seven items, since it- enters into 
the comi^tion of an individual life as a faculty (manodhatu) 
and as six different kinds of sensations, differentiated by their 
origin, as from one of the senses, or from a purely mental non- 
sensuous source.®* 

1 h® tioted that the number of comnon^nt 

{tmvm) of the rudimentary body m Sankhya is likewise 
eigfitieen* That the term dhotu has b^n borrowed from medical science 
where it m^ns elemmt of the body, can hardly be doubted. 

^ is often defined just as dharmui sva-svahhava-dhceraTiati 

^ sra-laksana’dJimmat (cf. S. Z. Aung, Compevdinm, P, 255ff). But 
^ IS only prfy •correct, since the dhattf Np. 12 includes sixty-four 
and the sevm dhatus, Ko. 6 and Nos. 13-18, correspond to 
cm rijnana The definition in 

A&. M, ahaiuszgo^a. We can, accordingly, translate dhdtu if • 

eompmmt,* "element/* or "class of elements/’ just as the Case ^ay 



IV. DHATUS 


9 


All these varieties of consciousness exist only in the 
ordinary plane of existence (kama-Dhatu), In higher worlds 
(xupa-Dhaiu) sense-consciousness gradually disappears, in the 
immaterial worlds (arupa-Dhatu) only non-sensuousi conscious- 
ness is left. A division of consciousness into various kinds 
(dhatu 13-18) is thus made necessary for the composition of 
formulas of elements corresponding to the denizens of various 
worlds.^^ 

We will now proceed to consider the separate elements in 
the order of their most general classification into Matter, 
Mind, and Porces. 

V. ELEMENTS OF MATTER 

Matter (rupa) or the physical elements {rupino dharmah), 
which in the first classification occupied one item {rupa- 
skandha), is otherwise distributed into ten items (Nos;. T5 and 
7-11). The itxm^pa-ayatana is reserved for visible matter or, 
more precisely, Che phenomenon of visibility alone, this being 
matter par. excellence,^^ The general characteristic of matter, 
or material elements, is impenetrability (sa-pratighatva), which 
is defined as the fatt that space occupied by one of them can- 
not, at the same time, be occupied by another.^® 

^^Wlien the three Dhatus are mentioned the term Dhatu means 
world {loka) or plane of existence (avaeara). It has nothing to do with 
the eighteen dhatvs. The worlds are divided into material (rupa-) and 
immaterial (aru/pa ) worlds, the former again into worlds of carnal de- 
sire or defiled matter — Tcama-(Tupa)-Dhatu, and those of^ pure, or 
reduced, matter— Tupa-Dhatu. In the hama-Dhatu life consists 
of eighteen components {dhatus), in the rupa-Dhaiu of fourteen (ex- 
cept^ are Kos. 9-10 and 15-16), in the arupa-Dlwpu of three (Nos 6, 
grees of perpeinsd trance fdAyana). Ordinary people can be transferred 
12, and 18). In life is characterized by different 

degrees of perpefnal (dAyrnml- Ordinary people can be transferred 

into these higher regions of trance either through being reborn in them 
{utpatti) or an effort of transic meditation (stmopaiti). 

r., i, 24. , ... 

^*The etymologicai explanation is : rupyata ttt ^ rupam, i.e., matrar 
is what materializes. Different meaning are then given of this materia^ 
lizing : pressure, pain, disappearance, or ch^ge. Thus matter is some- 
tMhg that disappears. The real meaning is impenetrability^ (sa-ptaiig- 
which is further variously explained. Kumaralabha giv^ to ^e 
of impentrabiiity an idealistic interpretation : impossibi- 

lity for the intellect to Imagine the presence of two such objects occupy- 
ing iim -sssjEie space*’ (ibid. Tibetan text, p. 60, 17 ff). Frofeesor O. 
Hoscsiberg s strcaigly objects to the interjnetatjon of rwpa as matter. He 
mmntains that Buddhism irpan its very nn^t viewed “to phenksmenal 
• world ^ an illusion and relegated every reality to ae^ae ^ajtfficendental 
world (cf. ProUemB, chap. x). He suggest® "sense-^Ments” for vnpa. 
This would find a p^ace in an ideall^ system would supported 
"by the above interpretation of Humaralabha. But it is, evidently, not the 



10 THE CENTRAL CONCEPTION Ol BUDDHISM 

The elements of visibility are divided into two main 
groups, colours and shapes. There are eight colours and 
twelve different shapes. Another theory reduces ail colours 
to two, light and darkness. Ail other varieties of visibility 
arc represented as differences of lines. The opposite view, 
namely, that colours alone are realities and shapes (samsthana) 
represent constructions of the mind (manasamj, parikalpitam) 
(superimposed upon the difference of coloration as an inter- 
pretation of it), was favoured by the Sautrantikas.-^ A line, 
say a line drawn by the motion of the hand, being an intima- 
tion of something {vijnapti) is an element (rupa-dharma) of 
length-*^; the line of the flight of a bird in the air is the same. 
They are interpreted as the apparitions of the element of 
length of some colour and all Buddhist matter must be con- 
ceived according to this pattern. They are material ele- 
ments w'ithout any matter in them. 

A glance at the ten items corresponding to matter in the 
{lyatana-division wdll convince us that no other matter except 
sense-data is recognized. It is broadly divided into two cate- 
gories, objective sense-data (visaya) constituting external 
objects, and sense-organs (indriya) conceived as a kind of 
translucent subtle matter which covers the body when it is 
living. This division reminds us of the Sankhya view that 
matter developed along two different lines, the one with pre- 
dominance of the translucent intelligence-stuff (sattva) result- 
ing in sense-organs, the other, with predominance of dead 
matter {tamas), resulting in sense-objects in their subtle {tan- 
matra) and gross (mahabhuia) forms. In fact the concept of 
tan-tmtra comes very near to the Buddhist conception of an 
element of matter (rupa-dharma). The fundamental differ- 
ence between the two conceptions is that in the Sankhya sys- 
tem these elements are modifications or appurtenances of an 
eternal substance. In Buddhism they are mere sense-data 
without any substance. 

The translucent matter of the sense-organs (rupa-prasada) 
is very subtle; it is like the shining of a jewel, it cannot be 

view adopted tbe school of the SarvastivadiBs. It is true th^ there 
m m other matter than sense-data. This should not prevent us, just as 
it doee not prevent modem philosophers who favour ti^ same view,. 
fjtsm wggng the term “matter** for facts characterized by impeuetrahttity^ * 
**' Ab. K.f i, 10, md Yac. comment. 

JT., % 10, Tih, test, p, 17. 



V. ELEMENTS OF MATTER 


11 


cut it cannot be burnt,^^ it has no weight,^^ and it 

disappears without a residue at death.^^ It is, nevertheless, 
atomic, and is represented by five different kinds of atoms. The 
atoms of the organ of sight (caksur-indriya) cover in concen- 
tric circles the eye-ball. The atoms of the organ of taste, or, 
more precisely, that matter which is supposed to convey the 
sensation of taste, covers in concentric semicircles the tongue. 
The atoms of the organs of touch (kay-endriya) cover the whole 
body.^^ The idea that all these different kin^ of special mat- 
ter are, indeed, the same translucent subtle stuff covering the 
whole living body and disappearing at death had also its ad- 
vocates, who consequently reduced all senses to one, the sense 
of touch, but this did not find general acceptance. Being as 
subtle as the shining- of a jewel, this matter cannot apyjear 
alone; it is supported by gross matter {mahahhuta), of vrhich 
the eye-ball and flesh in general consist. 

The atoms of external matter are likewise divided into 
atoms of general, universal, or fundamental matter, and 
special atoms of colour-, sound-, tangibility-matter, etc. The 
fundamental elements are four in number; they are manifest- 
ed by the facts of hardness or repulsion, cohesion or attrac- 
tion, heat and motion.^^ Conventionally they aie called 
earth, water, fire, and air; but it is specified that these are only 
conventional appellations, and that in the name of the fourth 
general element (irana) alone both the technical and the usual 
meanings coalesce, because the word irana has both the signi- 
fications of motion and air as welL^*"^ The fact that the fourth 
element is motion is an indication of the trend of this divi- 
si<m; the general elements of matter, like ail Buddhist ele- 
ments, are more forces than substances. These four elements 
appear always together, always in equal proportion. There is as 
much element of heat in a blazing flame as there is in wood* 

®*If a or all members, are chopped off the body, the sdase- 

organ-matter is sci cat even in two parts, i.e.j, the parts that are cat 
off are senseless. 'Hie movemente of a iizard*s tale after it is kaocked 
off the main body are e^^Iaised not by the presesce of this life-matter 
iindri^), hot by the inteosification of the ra^ti elemeot, i.e., it is a 
process (Ab. AT., i, 36, Tibetan text, p. 63, aiad Yash. comment). 

K., i, 36, Tib. text, p. 63, 13. 

; I., 37. and Yac. comment: mttagya am^trrtith. This* 

is a point df imEalogy with the Unga-stmra of ihe SanHiyaff. 

• i., L 44, Tibetan text, p. $4, 16 ff, 

^Ah. K., i m 

Jr.* i 13. 



12 


THE CENTRAL CONCEPTION OF BUDDHISM 


or in water, and vice versa, the difference is only in ttceir inten- 
sity."'^ The general elements of matter (mahabhuta) are 
brought under the head of tangibles {ayatana No. 11). Since 
there is only a limited number of general manifestations of 
tangibility, therefore their number is four.^^ There is, 
apparendy, a distinction between the elements in themselves 
and their manifestations, because the four facts of resistance, 
attraction, heat, and motion are clearly called manifestations 
(laksana) of the elements (dharma), which, accordingly 
must be something different, something mysterious or trans- 
cendental, similar in this respect to the gunas of the Sankhyas. 
The other five kinds of objective matter {ayatanas Nos. 7-11) 
were not general, but special, corresponding to each of the 
hve senses; the tangibility-matter alone {ayatana No. 11) in- 
cludes both the general (mahabhuta) and the special (Bhau~ 
tika) elements of matter.^® They were also atomic, but could 
not appear independently without being combined with the 
fundamental ones, in the ratio of four atoms of primary mat- 
ter to one of secondary. Thus the minimum number of 
atoms . indispensable for their actual appearance in life was 
eight: four atoms of general materiality combined with each 
atom of colour, odour, taste, and secondary tangibility- 
matter (such as smoothness, coarseness, etc.). If the particu- 
lar piece of matter resounded, atoms of sound were added and 
the combination consisted then of nine different atoms.®® The 
combined atoms (sanghata-paTamanu) alone appear in pheno- 
# menal reality, the simple ones, or infra-atomic elements, 
presumably, were relegated to transcendental reality, in ac- 
cordance with the general character of a Buddhist element. 
This device made it an easy task for Buddhists to oppose the 
indivisibility of atoras.^® 


**e.g., the tactile sensation may have a diSerent degree of intensity 
as toach by a bunch of steel needles is more intensely felt than the 
tonch of a painter’s brnsh, althngh the qantity may be the same. The 
existence of cohesivenes, i.e., of the element “water” in a fiame, is 
I^ted by its keying a shape; the presence of repnlsion, i.e., of the 
“earth”^ in wafer is proved by the fact of its supporting a ship, 
etc. {cf. Ait. K,, h, 22, and Tashom). 

K., i. Tibetan text, p. 61, 5 ff. 

“Ibid. 


®The actual number of atoms in a sangkai^-pc^amonu will he much 
greater, since each atom of secondary {bhautika] matter needs a ^t of 
fonr pnm^ atoms of its own, hat if dhatm alone are redkoned Mio 
^ ^pr^s ela^ {dhatu) of {dhcrm) rOpi^-' 

vea tin. Ah. K*, n, 22) , , *v 

Tilseima test, p. 



VI, ELEMENTS OF MLNT) 




VI. ELEMENTS OE MIND 

In the ayatana classification two items (Nos. 6 and 12; are 
devoted to the elements of mind {citta-caitta-dharmah, arupino' 
dharmah) and, according to the principle of this classification, 
they represent two correlative groups: a subjective one 
(indriya) and an objective one (visaya). The • principle of ex- 
ternality of one element in regard to another, i.e., the idea o£ 
separate elements {prthag-dharma) is maintained in the held 
of mind just as in the field of matter. Mind is split into two 
chief parts. The subjective part, or mind view^ed as a recep- 
tive faculty, is represented by one element called, indiscrimin- 
ately, citta, vijnanaj or mayias,^^ It represents pure conscious- 
ness, or pure sensation, without any content. Its content is 
placed in the objective part which contains the definite sensa- 
tion (sparse), feelings (vedana), ideas (sanjna), volitions 
(cetana), and various other mental phenomena up to the num- 
ber of forty-six separate elements.'^ ^ So it is that feelings come 
to be viewed as objects of the mind, a position which, for 
other reason they likewise possess in the Sankhya system. The 
category in which they are entered is called the (general), 
group of elements (dharma-nyatatm) or simply *‘the elements’’ 
(dharmah)' As staiai above, the first eleven Vlases” contain, 
one element (dharma) eadi, but this last one contains the re- 
maining sixty-four elements of the list. Beside the forty-six. 
mental phenomena it contains the fourteen elementary forces 
(viprayukta-samskara). the element of character (avijnapti) 
and the three eternal elements (asamskrta): among the latter 
is Nirvana, the chief dharma. For this reason the term ‘^ele- 
ments” (dharmah) is a sufficient indication of this group, 
becau^ the other categories, aitbou^ ^so containing elements, 
(dfearmi^b), eadM® The common feature 

of all these eleiaeite is tliat they are apprehended by the 
intellect directly without any intermediate agency of the 

E., ii, 34. The game m the Pali Caooa, Semyutta, ii, 94. 

**The Tfaeravada peekoned fifty -cme. the of the 

Saakhyas, some of them exhibiting an ai^k^ wiffi Gcmespondh^ 
A foil Ptt of the forty-six is 

II. ^ r 

is tb?s a bat. JNfo. 12 is 

yatffka: ^xcehence. Jnsi ao is it that uthe .ten material si! 

include mahfcer.,,fT|jey are, coaaseqneo^, all of them, nt^egtataAos. Bnt 
el rt^pay^deiAa as its special desi^aUoa, because it, the most' 

oEdhr am of theo— the, visible eiemeut^ No. T-^^^reffiaiiis the namer 

c$^racterisllc amoag nIaSler. X.. 

42, 17 ‘ * 



J4 THE CENTRAL CONCEPTION Oi BUDDHISM 

senses In the apprehension of sense-objects there is^Jif^’ewise 
participation by the intellect; but these dharmah are non- 
sensnous objects, they are the exclusive domain of the recep- 
tive intellect, just as colour is the exclusive domain of he 
sense of vision. The definition of receptive consciousness is 
pregnant: vijnanam prativijmplih, i.e., “consciousness is an 
intimation, or awareness, in every single case (of ^what is 
now present to the senses, or to the mind directly). If an 
apprehesion contains some, albeit quite indefinite, content, 
say some indefinite visual sensation, it will then represent the 
next degree, a real sensation (sparse).'*® The definite preception 
(parichitti) of a colour will be an “idea (sanjna), but consciou.s- 
liess as the perceptive faculty is pure sensation. ^though 
quite undifferentiated in itself, this pure sensation is, never- 
theless, distinguished from the standpoint of its origin oi, 
more precisely, its environment, i.c., the elenients by which 
its appearance is accompanied. From this point of view, as 
stated above, there is a set of six different kinds (dhatu) of 
•consciousness, corresponding to a set of six receptive faculties 
and a set of six kinds of objects. We thus have six categories 
of consciousness (sad-vijnam-kayah), be^nning _ with visual 
sensation or, more precisely, pure sensation arising in con- 
nexion with some colour (caksur-vijnana-dhatu) and ending with 
consciousness accompanying a non-sensuous object (muno-tfij- 
nana-dhatu). We have besides the same consdemsness as a lecep- 
tive faculty {dhatu No. 6). As a receptive faculty mano- 
dhatu is not diffoent from consciousness arising in connexion 


'**Prof. and Mrs. <^iger, <yp. cit., have estsdiHsh^ for the 
dharmo^ in the techHicid saise the signification “the easnpwneal things.” 
This is an exanupie -cf the impotence of the “phiMogicfd method”! It 
has not escapea their attentiejn that dhaTTiiah is synoDymons with 
and dhearmadhatzi^ m which Nirvama is ineinded {p. B5) 
wfeli is hut ee^rioal. The dharimh are apppehettlifed hy 

sWoA {p. 81), hut- the is p|xt on the fact that they are appre- 

hended mtheut the cooperal^ of semises. Everythii^ is apprehen- 
ded by mmah, but the dharmoJi are external with regard to mcmah ; their 
place in the system is among the six msaya, as opposed to^ the six indriya^ 
oBe of which, the sixth, is manah. Concerning lie meaning of the terms 
“anternaJ” some remarks will be made liter on, when 
diseaKssIng thacay oi eognition. 

** mL L, 16. €ktmi ‘oi4mati. Ad,, p. 42^ “is iwrtauafjy’' (M. 

Tii^), must have the same import, if any. Of- the Sa^khya 4€finition 
of in Sem^hya’-hetrika, 5 : fratirisay^hycEDOsayo drstam, 

wftiere we h»ve fepwise the distdbnSIve praM-, bat 
dmae it is In tfee fiaOk&ya aystem regpresented the 
TC|»ory of Cegatitieo], Is replaoeid hy ^ 

i®ies ae ‘^contact,” !s precNiqpd^. 



VI. ELEMENTS OF MIND 


15 


■with Attract objects {mano-vifnana-dhaiuy, it is the ^ame 
reality, me same dharma. But for s^mmetricai arrangement it 
has been found necessary^ to have a set of three items for the 
purely mental elements, just as there is a three-fold set of 
faculty, object, and sensation corresponding to each of the 
Senses.^' The difference between consciousness as a receptive 
faculty and the same consciousness accompanying an abstract 
object is then said to be a difference of time. Consciousness 
in the role corresponding to the place occupied in the system 
by the senses is, the consciousness of the preceding moment.^® 
The Theravadins, evidently for the same purpose of symmetri- 
cal arrangement, introduced into the system a “heart-stuff^’ 
(hadaya-vatthu) which supports the non-sensuous cognitions, 
just as the other sense-stuffs ‘‘support’’ sense-cognitions. It 
occupies in the system the place of the sixth organ (ayatana or 
dhatu No. 6.)^^ 

Although external in regard to one another, conscious- 
ness and mental phenomena {citia-caitta) were conceived as 
being in a closer, more intimate, connexion than other com- 
bining elements. Pure sensation {citia) could never appear in 
life ipL its true separate condition; it was always accompanied 
by soxm swMdmj mmtal phenomena Among 

these mental pheatmieiia (crntta-dharma) or faculties (sams- 
kara)- three are espedally conspicuous, namely, feelings 
(vedana), ideas (sanjna), and volitions (cetana). In the classi- 
fication into groups (skandha) they occupy three separate 
items, ail the remaining ernes being included together with the 
volitions in the samskara-shandaha. Feelings (vedana) are de- 
fined emotions pleasant, unpleasant, or neutralA^ Ideas 
(mnjna) are defined as operation of abstrabct thought, as that 
whidh ^‘abstracts'’ {ud^ahmm} a concern characteristic sign 

i'pcmhdk fiucsso ) : coi^ioosiiiefis (cUta), the sense- 

organ, aod the spBue-ohject. Cf. below under Theory o£ Oogiation, 

*^Ah. K., i, 16, Tibetan text, p. 29, 1. 17. 

^®Tbe mental pheaioineaia {caitta-dharma) also have their objects; 
they are according to the oerreBt termiaolo^ b«t they 

are th^aaselves visaya and 3iot indriya {Ah, K,, i, 34, cf, Tibehan text, 

p. TW. 

Ifo- C. I&ys Davids, B, Psfch,, 1 ^. 70. This 

steff had^ as i^le to do t™i the atonal as fiie 

with the aefeal e^ Indian 

asssined ^ erotence of a snbtle as a vedbik of 

mental process^. It is here caBe^ hearietaff. 

^Ah, K,, S, m 
K,, i, 14. 



16 the central CON'CEPIION of buddhism 

{inuniita) from the individual objects.*'" Even thc^^^^finitc 
representation (pciTichittt) of a colour is brought under this 
head."- It is exactly what in later Indian philosophy, Bud- 
dhist as well as Brahmanical, was understood by ‘‘definite’^ 
[sa-vikalpaka) cognition. Dignaga and Dharmakirti intro- 
duced into Indian logic the distinction between pure sense 
knowledge, free from any operation of abstract thought 
(kalpanapodka), and definite cognition isavikalpaka)^'^ It was. 
then adopted by Uddyotakara and the whole of the Nyaya- 
Vaise&hika school."^ It now appears that Dignaga was not the 
originator of this doctrine, he only adapted it to his system. 
From the very beginning Buddhism had established this dif- 
ference: vijnana and its s)Tion)Tns citia, manah represent 

pure sensation, the same as the kalpanapodka pratyaksa of 
Dignaga, and Sanjna corresponds to definite ideas. Ever}*- 
construction {kalpana), every abstraction (udgrahana),^^ every 
definite (parichinna) representation, such as blue and yellow, 
long and short, male and female, friend and enemy, happy and 
miserable — this is all brought under the head of ideas (sanjna} 
as distinguished from vijnana^:=z pure sensation. 

Volition (cefana) is defined as the mental effort that pre- 
cedes action. It is an element or a force which enters in the 
composition of a personal life (santana). It must not be for- 
gotten that since there is no personality in the Buddhist out- 
look of the universe, there certainly is no will in our sense^ 
i£., no personal will. There is a certain arrangement of ele- 
ments. there is an element, or a force, or, still more precisely, 
the simply fact (dharma) that the elements are arranged in a 
certain way, according to certain laws. This fact is pointed to 
by the term cefana. It "‘arranges” (sancetayati)^^ the ele- 
ments in ""streams”, which simple folk deem to be personali- 
ties. It is synonymous with the law of moral causation 
(karmay^ and likewise with tfie force of vitality, the "‘elan 
vital” (bkavana, vasana), which in the Buddhist system re- 

“Ibid. 

“Cf. the definition of Pratyaksa in Nyaya-hmdn 1. 

Nyaya-rarttika, prafyaksa-sutra, 

dgraiana is literally ‘‘abstraction,” kcdpana “imagination,”' 
“constmction”. It corresponds to the part taken in Kant’s system by 
“prodnctive imagination,” whereas rijnana, or the pratyaksa of Dig- 
naga, corresponds to “reine Sinnlichkeit.” Gf. my Logic of later 
Buddhists (chapter on kalpana), 

**To be derived from the root ri from which the Buddhists 
derive citiei as well {Asb., p. 63); sancetayati is exactly, in form and 
meaning, the Kussian sor:hetctystit the Pskli abhisand ah ait has the same 
import, efi S. Z, Aung, Oompendivm, p. 235^ 



conscious agent, whether soul or God or even a 
consciou? human being."^ A moment o£ this kind of will 
accompanies ever) conscious moment (citta). 

There are, on the whole, ten mental elements which 
accompany every conscious moment; they are called the 
•‘general’^ mental elements.^'*^ There are ten others which are 
p^fcTticularly “favourable tor progress towards the hnal ap- 
peasement of life; they are faith, courage, equainmity, etc. 
Ten others have the' contrary' unfavourable or oppressive 
(klista) character. There are some others which have no de- 
finite moral character. All these mental elements are not 
general; they accompany only some of ihe moments of consci- 
ousness, not all of them.^® 

VII. FORCES 

The definitions of the will (cetand) and of the force (samskara) 
are indeed the same, “what produces the manifestations {abhi- 
samskaroti) of combining elements [sa^nskrtamy^^'^ : it is a ‘^con- 
certed agency.’’ Since all forces are agencies acting in some 
combination with other elements, we may in rendering this 
conception, for the sake of expediency, safely drop the word 
“combining” and usiC “forces” alone.®^ There are some indic- 
ations that originally there was only one samskara in the Bud- 
dhist system, the will, and that gradually a whole catalogue 
of them was developed, some of the elements being entered 
into this group rather forcibly, with excuses.®^ The most typi- 

definition of karma is cetana cetapitva ca karanam^ Ah. 
iv- 1 the sanae as in Anguttara, iii, 415; cf. Mrs. C. Rhys Davids,. 
B. Psych., p. 93. 

K., ix. SovV Theory, p. 942. 

^^Citta-wahahhumika. 

full list of them will be fotmd in O. Rosenberg’s Problems,. 
p. 374, and at the etid of this bcK>k. 

This dehnation we find aiready in the oldest sources, e-g-> 
Samvutta,' ill, 87, and it is repeated in numberless passages of, the Ah. 
K.; cf. S. Z. Aung, Com^endiwm, p. 236. 

^-Sambhuya-karltram, Ab.^ K., i, 7. 

®®This the Buddhists themselves have also done in replacing sam- 
skrta by krtaJca, cf. Nayayab, tika, pp. 47, 50 etc. A unity, without 
contbiniag, can produce nothing: nu kimcid ekam ekasmat (Dignaga). 

^In the Ah. K., i, 15, there is an interesting effort to prove that all 
smmkoTas (sixty) are included in the sam^kara-skandha and not cetam 
alone, as it would be possible to conclude from scriptural pas^ges. As 
the second member of the chain of causation, saviskara is equivalent to 
karma. Mrs. C, Rhys Davids calls my attention to the following ver>' 
iiluminathig words in Samyutta, iii, 60 : Satama ca bhikkhave sanhharal, 
CJia-y-iim cetmakmjariiva-sadda-gandha-rcsa-'phatthabba-sancetana dhcmima- 
scmceUata ime vuccmti sankkara. According to Yashomitra, I, c., the 
mental faculties are included in the samsk<^g~8kand&a because they obey 
the wiH, the othei^ forces because they are similar to the will (tetma). # 



16 


THE CKXTRAL COXCEPTlOIsi OF BUDDHISM 


cal forces are the four forces of origination and deg^rf, etc., 
'vvhich accompany every other element in life. Some details 
concerning them will be given in the sequel. In general, all 
elements may be divided into substances and forces {dravya 
and samskara). The forces are then divided into mental 
faculties, with the will as chief among them, and non-mental 
(citta-viprayukta) forces, among which the origination and de- 
cay forces are the most typical. But even these latter forces are 
sometimes given a certain amount of substantiality (dravya- 
topi santi).^^ The word and conception samskara performs a 
conspicuous part in all Indian philosophical systems. It usu- 
ally means some latent mysterious power, which later on re- 
veals itself in some patent fact. It sometimes is identified 
with the ‘ 'unknown” (adrsta) conceived as a force sui generis. 
Since every philosophy is but a search for the hidden reality 
as opposed to the patent surface of life, the importance of the 
conception of a samskara is quite natural. Every system had 
its own defirdtion and scope attributed to the connotation of 
this term. The Ajivika sect, as we have seen, was known by 
its denial of the existence of such forces. The BuddhistSt, on 
the contrary, converted all their elements into subtle forces of 
some degree. Ihe subtler the element the more was it given 
the character of a force; but even the coarsest elements, the 
7nahabhuias look more dike forces than substances, Ther^ is a 
constant fluctuation in Buddhist terminology between a force 
{samskara) and a substance influenced by these forces {sam- 
skrta). A force, it must be recalled, should not be regarded as 
a real influence of something extending beyond its. ovm exist- 
ence in order to penetrate into another_this would be 
iipakara — but simply as a condition, a fact, upon which an- 
other fact arises or becomes prominent {utkarsa) by itself— this 
is samskara in the Buddhist system.®® 

The little we know of the history of Indian Philosophy 
induces us to look to the Sankhya system as the foundation 
of scientific thinking. In that school the fundamental ideas 
were formed which sometimes unconsciously affected ail later 
constructions. What do we find there? Three fundamental 
qsrinciples- Matter, Mind-stuff and Energy-stuff, as inter- 
dependent moments in ev^ real and substantial existence. 
Tven energy is substantial in this sense. The infinitesimals of 
energy, present everywhere, are semi-material; although differ- 
ent from the inertia of Matter, and the luminosity of Mind, 


K., H, 2, 24. 

^ “Cf. the to Pmimt, ii, 5, 55; vi, 1, 139r and iv, 2, 16; 
IV, 4, 3, in the Kmh%ha {not occurring in the M. BbrnTtaS. Cf. below. 



THE PURE FORCES 


19 


they ai’^separate and substantial.^- The Buddhist elements 
.as infinitesimal realities, divided into elements of Matter, 
^lind, and Forces, look like a reply to the Sankhya construc- 
tions from an architect of greater skill: ‘‘you maintain the 
realities are gunas, we say they are dharmas/’ The funda- 
mental idea of infinitiesimal realities may be recognized in the 
dharniaSy the idea of forces eveivTvhere present can be traced 
to its origin in the Sankhya conception of rajas; there are 
forces which are different from matter and mind {rupa-citta- 
viprayukta). A pluralistic view of the whole is added to make 
the originality of the new system, in contrast to the Unitarian 
tendency of the old one. But, be the case as it may, every 
-element of matter and mind may be called in Buddhism a 
samskaray which, in this case, tvill stand for samskrta-dharma.^^ 
The Buddhist idea of a force seems to be that it is the subtle 
fonn of a suBstance, but even substance is here subtle enough. 
The order in which the elements appear in the first classific- 
ation into groups is interpreted as a gradual progress from 
coarseness to subtlety: matter {rupa) is coarser than feeling 
{vedana), feeling more palpable than ideas {sanjna), the re- 
maining energies {samskara) still more subtle.®® 

The pure forces (viprayukta-samskara) are the most subtle 
amoi^ the elements. In the loftiest, highest worlds, where 
existence is entirely spiritualized, their agency continues; they 
are the last to be suppressed before final extinction isi reached. 
The chief among them are the four forces of origination and 
destruction, etc, which are the very essence of every existence. 
Then there are two forces, prapti and aprapti^ which are sup- 
posed to control the collection of elements composing a per- 
sonal life or to prevent {aprapti) the appearance in it of an. 
dement that is not in agreement with its general character. 
The Sautrantikas and Vasubaiidhu deny the reality of these 

J 

®^Cf. B. Se»I, The, Posifire Sciences of the Hindus, aiid S. Das- 
supta, The Study of Patanjoli. Tbe interpretation of the gunas given 
there is entirely based on Vvasa who. as will be seen below, was 
strongly influenced by ahhidharma. Concerning their mythoJogicdl 
origin cf . Senari, /. 1915, v. ii, pp. 151 ff. 

Yacomitra iAh. Y., i., 151 remarks that the name scm&hrta m 
given in attticiparion. since an element will become ^amshria only when 
the forces {aowaX’arn) shall have exhibited their efficiency. In the 
popnlar formula amtyah satve samslcmah the word dcamkara stands for 
!^cms7srta~dharma^ Samshara etymoloeized as Kararia-sadhaaia would 
’Ttean force, and as 'kxirmoL-sadlwsia would be equal to swnskrta-dharma. 
The individual life, which consists of all these phvsical and mental ele- 
ments and forces, is called eam^hora-sctmuhah, cf. Yacom, [Ah. S'., ix)^ 

cavi Caitra-dbhidh^nah samshara-samulia-samicmoh. 

'^Ah, i, B2, 



THE CENTRAL CONCEPTION OF BUDDHISM 

idces; for them they are mere names {prajnaptiy^' ^ "There 
arc two forces supposed to be active in producing the highest 
degrees of trance — the unconscious trance {asayijni-samapatti}. 
and the cessation {nirodha-) trance or catalepsy. They are 
also brought under the head of pure forces.'^ They evidently 
could not be brought under the head of mind, because consci- 
ousness at that lime is supposed to be suppressed. Then there 
are three forces corresponding to the sphota of other systems.. 
All Indian systems contain speculations about the nature of 
sound, its ph}sical as well as its significative aspect. The phy- 
sical sound was in Buddhism considered, in agreement with, 
the whole system, as a production, i.e., (flashing) of sound- 
atoms reposing on the atoms of fundamental matter. If simul- 
taneously some atoms of translucent sound matter (sabda- 
rupa-prasada) appeared in the ear, an auditory sensation 
(srotra-injnana) was produced. But the significance of the 
sound? of speech w^as given by special forces. The Mimamsaka 
school was known for its theory' of transcendental, intelligible 
sounds which were etenaal and ubiquitous, like Platonic ideas, 
and manifested themselves in the case of physical words being 
pronounced. Following their fundamental principle of analys- 
ing everything into minutest elements, the Buddfrists imagin- 
ed three separate forces which imparted to the sounds of speech 
their significativeness; the force of sound (vyanjana), which 
would seem to correspond to the modern idea of a ''phonema’'*, 
the force of words (mma), and the force of sentences (pada)/^ 
Generality, general ideas, are also conceived as a kind of 
force, and it is christened by the name of nikaya-sabhagata, a 
conception intended to replace by a “force" the substantial 
reality of the sammiya of other systems.^^ In general this 
group of forces is a rather incongruous assemblage of elements 
which could not be placed elsewhere. As a separate group of 
elements it is absent in the Theravada schbol. Some of its 

V 

^^Ab. K., ii. 37. 

. u, 46. 

^^^Ah, K., ii, 47 ff. Vyanjana here corresponds to rama, noma to 
and pada to rahya, a case exhibiting clearly the desire to have 
a tenninology of one’^s own, so common to Indian systems : **'you 
maintain in the sphota, we say it is vycttijam-rnTna-fada-BcmishaTa.^^ The 
real existence of these forces is admitted by the Sarvastivadin alone. 
For this reason they bring the Holy Scriptures under the head of 
Ba^mJcara-sJcandha, whereas the Sautrantikas classify it under rupa as 
smda, and the Vii’nanavadins under rijnana-sJcandha; cf. Vinitadeva*s 
intrpdi^ion to the Sant anon farasiddbi, edited by me in the BibT ^ 
Bitdd&tca, * 

K., il 41. 



VIII. NO.N-SUSST-AXTIALm' OF THE EEE.MENTS 


21 


jiiembejii^seem to have found a place, for some reason, among 
ihe physical (rupa) group of that school.'^ 

VIIL NON-SUBSTANTIALIIV OF THE ELEMENTS 

After this succinct review of the elements of existence and 
their different classifications, we may consider the question as 
to what were tliey in their essence, what was the Buddhist 
conception of an element. The elements had four salient 
features; (1) they wei;e not-substance — this refers to all the 
seventy-five elements, whether eternal or impermanent; (2) 
they had no duration — this refers only to the eeventy-two im- 
permanent elements of phenomenal existence; (3) they were 
unrest — this refers only to one part of the latter class, that 
which roughly corresponds to the ordinary man as opposed to 
the purified condition of the elements of a saint {ary a); and 
(4; their unrest had its end in final deliverance. Speaking 
technically: (1) all dharmas are anatman, (2) all samskrta- 
dkarmas are anityih (3) all sasrat^a-dharmas are dithkha, and (4) 
their nirvana alone is sania. An element is non-substantial, 
it is evanescent, it is in a beginningless state of commotion, 
and its final suppression is the only Calm. These are what 
the Tibetans call the four “seals’’ of Buddhad^ We now 
proc<?ed to examine them separately. 

.\natma 

The term anatman is usually translated as ‘‘non-soul/’ but in 
reality atman is here synonymous with a personality, an ego, a 
self, an individual, a living being, a conscious agent, etc^® 
The underlying idea is that, whatsoever be designated by all 
these names, it is not a real and ultimate fact, it is a mere 
name for a multitude of interconnected facts, which Buddhist 
philosophy is attempting to analyse by reducing them to real 
elements (dharma). Thus, “soullessness/’ { 7 iairatmaya) is but 
the negative expression, indeed a synonym, for the existence 

S. Z. Aung, Com'pe.ndium, p. 157. 

"The Sonthems reckoned three “marks,’" evidently including the 
fourth in dnhkha, as its cessation; cf. S. Z. Aung, Compenditim, 

'^The whole issue with every detail is admirably expounded by 
Tasnbandhu in a concluding, ninth, chapter of Ab, K., translated in 
my Soul Theory of the Bouddhists. The terms alma, jirmi, sattva, 
piidgdla are here used as synonyms; cf* Boul Theory, p. 8^, and 
KatJiavutthu-atthahatha, p. 8* The Vatsiputriyas made some difference 
Jbetween pudgdla and atman ; they were pudgcdavadvm, but not atma- 
\ad%n^. Although admitting a limited, very shady, reality of ‘^dgdla^ 
they denied it the uftimate reality of a dhmma; cf. Soul Theory and 
“below, 



22 


THE CENTRAL CONCEPIION OF BUDDHISJkl 


of ultimate realities (dliarmata).- Buddhism never denied 
the existence of a personality, or a soul, in the empirifai sense,, 
it only maintained that it was no ultimate reality (not a 
dharma). The Buddhist term for an individual, a teim which 
is intended to suggest the difference between the Buddhist 
view and other theories, is santana, i.e,, a ‘ 'stream,” viz. of 
interconnected facts. It includes the mental elements and 
the physical ones as well, the elements of one's own body and 
the external objects as far as they constitute the experience o£ 
a given personality. The representatives of eighteen classes 
idhaiu) of elements combine together to produce this inter- 
connected stream. There is a special force,' called prapti, which 
holds these elements combined. It operates only within the 
limits of a single stream and not beyond. This stream of ele- 
ments kept together, and not limited to present life, but 
having its roots in past existences and its continuation in 
future ones — is the Buddhist counterpart of the Soul or the 
Self of other s) stems. 

Consequent upon the denial of substance is the denial of 
every difference between the categories of substance and 
quality. There is no ‘ 'inherence” of qualities in substance; 
in this respect all real elements are equally independent. As 
separate entities they then ^become substances sui generis.. 
‘‘Whatsoever exists is a substance,'^ says Vasubandhu.'^^ •“An 
element is something having an essence of its own,”’'® is the 
current definition. To every unit of quality there is a corres- 
ponding subtle element (dharma) which either directly 53ani- 
■ fests itself or, according to the Sarvastivadins, remaining for 
ever a transcendental reality, produces a reaction {karitva^ 
laksana) which we wrongly interpret as being a quality. All 
sense-data (rupa) are substances in that sense that there is no- 
stuff they belong to. If w^e say “earth has odour, etc.”, it is 
only an inadequate expression; we ought to say “earth is 
odour, etc.”, since besides these sense-data there is absolutely 
nothing the name could be applied to.®® I’he same principle 
is applied to the mental sphere; there is no spiritual substance 
apart from mental elements, or faculties, that are conceived as 

^’^Pravacanadharmata punar ntra nairatimjam buddhanucasam ra,. 
Tasom. ad Ab. K.. ix, in fine. 

ix, ridyamnnam dramjam\ Yasom. adds svalahsanato- 
vtdyammam dravyam. Cf. Soul Theory, p. 943. 

^*Sxdlalc8ma-dkaT(mad dhmmnli, Yasom. ad Ah. K., i, 3, 

gandJiavatity ulcte rufa-gandha-rma-spaTBehhyo nanycx 
dmayitum sahyate, Yasom. ad Ah. K., ix; cf. Soul Theory, p. 742. 



IX. LAWS OF CAUSATION 


2!i 

subtle r^ities or substances sui generis, very much on the 
same pattern as the elements of matter.^^ .There is no soul 
apart from feelings, ideas, volitions, etc.®^ Therefore an element 
technically means “non-self/’®^ » 

IX. PRATITYA-SAMUTPADA (CAUSALITY) 

Although the separate elements (dharmm) are not connected 
with one another, either by a pervading stuff in space or by 
duartion in time, there is, nevertheless, a connexion between 
them; their manifestations in time, as well as in space, are 
subject to definite iaw^s, the laws of causation. These laws 
bear the general name pratitya-samutpada. We have seen that 
the connotation of the word dharma implies the meaning of 
elements operating together wdth others. This concerted life 
of the elements (samskrtatva) is but another name for the laws 
of causation — ^the combined origination (sam-utpada) of some 


his History of Indian Philoso'phy (Cambridge, 19^), p. 2^ 
Professor S. Dasgupta maintains that in Sankhya pfilosophy there ^ is 
likewise no separate existence of qualities (i.e., no inherence of quaUties 
in a substance). This is based fas the learned author informs me in a 
letter) on Vyasa^ hi, 12 {sapehsiJco dharma-dharmi-bJiavah) and Vachas- 
pati’s comment. There are other passage suggestive of a similar idea, 
e.g., dhaTmi'Svarupa-matro M dharmah (ibid., hi, 13). But it^ is added 
dhoTTr^-vihriy ail'd esa dharma-dvcffa ‘pTd'pcfficyatc, In Buddhism there 
cannot be any change of dhormiv. since everything is new at every 
moment. Besides it most not be forgotten that Vyasa. as will be 
shown later, was strongly influenced by the Abhidharmists. If Professor 
S. Dasgupta’s views that the ultimate entities in Sankhya were called 
gunas, probably to suggest that they are the entities which by_ their 
various modifications manifest themselves as gunas or qualities, is ac- 
cepted. this would constitute a very strong analogy between the Sankhya 
gvnas and the Bud(hiist dharmas. In his VijnancmatTa-siddhi Vasu- 
banhu applies the term dharma to the tattvas of the Sankhyas (0. 
Rosenberg). " 

®“It is a matter of surprise how long it has taken European science 
to realize this doctrine, which is so clearly stated in numberless pas- 
sages of Buddhist writ, and in one of them even in terms very nearly 
approaching to Hume’s statement {Samyvtfa, iii. 46) : “all Brahmans or 
Sramanas who attentively consider the soul, which so variously has ]^en 
descried to them, find' either the five groups of phenomena (physical, 
feelings, ideas, volitions, or pure sensation) or one of them,” etc.. The 
stumbling-block has always beeiy the supposed theory of transmigration 
of souls and its “glaring” contradiction with the denial of soul. Bud- 
dhism always had two languages, one for the learned {nitarflia] and one 
for the simple {neyartha)^ 

ix, cf. Bovd Theory, p. 840, where it is stated that an atm a 
is synonymous with 6 slrandhas^ 12 ayatamas, and 18 dhafuB, ie., with 
all dhasrmasx a single dharma is likewise svnonvmons with nih^aftra. 
Jt is, therefore, misleading to translate Buddaghosa’s interpretation of 
d7MTma:=:nissatta, riijjiva, as meaning “inanimate thing/’ as Mrs. and 
Prof. Geiger have done, op. cit., (tJnbelebtes. Ding, Sache). Since 
consciousness itself and all mental phenomena and even Nirvana are 



-24 


THE CENTRAL CONCEPTION OF BLDDHISNI 


elements with regard (pratitya) to other elements.®^ us it 
is that the hindamental idea of Buddhism — ihe conceptio?i of 
a piuraiit^ of separate eiements — includes the idea of the most 
strict causality controlling their operation in the world-process. 
The “theory of elements” — the dharrnasanketa^ says Vasu- 
bandhu, means that ‘"if something appears, such and such 
result will iciiow” — asmin sati idarn bhavati}^ 

The most populai form of the laws of causation is repre- 
sented b\' the theoiy^ of the twelve consecutive stages in the 
ever revolving stream of life from birth to death; it is, so to 
say, the vertical line of causation, while other relations repre- 
sent the horizontal.®^" 


dharmas. Buddhaghosa could not have meant that they ai’e ‘inanimate 
things” in the ordinary sense of the word. The compound nissatta 
must be explained either as a mcdhyama-jpada-lopi — nirgatah mttvah^ or 
as a hahuvrihi — nirgatah sattvo yasmat, ^ 

^Tacom. ad Atf. AT., ii, 45 : samskrtatvam pratitya-samutfannatvam. 
iti par y ay at'. p,tau\ mjaetya samhkuya pjTatyayaih Icrtani samskrtayn; 
-adiipDul ' vmmoadgnwLm ■Dfl%ypDid vwfivfi}vid nirri vwi y^arnutpaniunn It'. 

^^Ah. K.j iii, 18 and 28, cf. also ii, 47, and ii, 50. 

®®The interpretation of this formula has been the crus of European 
scholars, while in Buddhist countries, as Prof. 0. Rosenberg certifies, 
it is supposed to be very plain and accessible to the simplest understand- 
ing. The right explanation, in the light of the dharma theory, will be 
found in 0. Rosenberg’s Problems, chap. xvi. The stmnbling-blo^li to 
every explanation came from the supposition that the formula was me^t 
to represent some evolution in which one member was producing the 
other; it was then impossibie to deduce e.g., nama-rupa from vijnana, 
unless the latter be taken in the sense of the buddhi of the SankJayas. 
In reality, as soon as the first moment of life third nidana) 

appe^, all the eighteen dhatus are already present, according to the 
principle “there is no citta without caitta, and no hkuta -without hliau- 
tika. ’ On vijnana as the first moment in the life of the embryo cf. 
Ah. E., i, 55, Tibetan, p. 62, 6, and i. 22, Tibetan, p. 47, 18, and also 
Mrs. C. Rbys Davids, B. Psych., p, 25. The number of tattvas in an 
embryo, according to Sankhya, is likewise eighteen, though there is 
difference in counting. According to Charaka {sharirasthana, iv) the 
sperm-cell of the father contains minute particles of ^11 the organs. 
Consequently vijnana, the third member in the “wheel of life,” is a 
technical term indicating the first moment of a new life arising out of 
pre-natal forces {avidya, samskara). The next seven members mark the 
stages of the development of the ebryo into a child, youth, and grown-up 
^n. The ^n^uu-stage corresponds to sexual maturity, when new karma 
b^ns to he formed. The two last members refer briefly to future life 

idea that all elements are present through the whole process, the 
only in the relative “prominence” (utkarsas tv 
abhivyannkah, cf. Susruta, Bntraathana, xii) of one element over the 
others, points out to Sankhya habits of thought, where eveiwthing was 
considered immutable, always existing [sarvcm nityam), all things enter- 
ing in one another (siW'iw mrvatmakmi), the difference being only a 4 
passing manifestation of some element, while the others continued to 
assist in a latent state. 



'^VHEEL OF life’' 


2a 


In%j|ie popular literature of the Sutras the term pratitya- 
iamutpada is almost excusively applied to this formula of th€ 
wheel of life, ’ although the general meaning of it must have 
been present to the mind of all Buddhists. It is implied in 
the division of dharmas into ayatanas, which is founded on 
the theory that knowledge arises (samutpadyate) when condi- 
tioned (pratitya) by an object and a receptive faculty- ^^Ail 
abhidharma is but an interpretation of the sutras'’ the cur- 
rent says definition. Therefore the general meaning of the 
idea of interconnected origination of elements’^ may have 
appeared in the abhidharma by a sort of generalization found- 
ed on actual conceptions that are to be found in the sutras 
in a somewhat different form. This question is directly asked 
by Vasubanbhu, ‘‘Why is it,” says "he, “that the twelve 
members of interconnected origination of the elements are 
differently treated in the Scripture and in the Exegesis? e.g. 
it is stated in the latter that the interconnected origination 
of elements (pratitya-samutpada) is a term equivalent to all 
the active elements (samskrta-dharma):" And he answers: 
“Because in the sutras this relation is treated intentionally 
(in ^ popular way, with reference to the development of an 
indmdual’s life), whereas the exegeticai works explain its 
essence (in regard of all elements in general),®^ 

Some of the casual relationships have already been men- 
tioned. Thus the relation of simultaneity (sahahhu) ties 
together the four fundamental and the secondary elements of 
matter — bhuta and bhautika. The same relation applies to 
the simultaneous origination of consciousness and mental 
phenomena (citia and caitta). But for the vice versa conjunc- 
tion — one would be tempted to say “inherence’' if it was not 
so grave a mistake against the fundamental principle of Bud- 
dhism — of the mental elements with pure consciousness 
(citta), a specific, more intimate, association was imagined. 
Evidently there was a feeling that the various mental facts 
were more closely united with consciousness than the atoms 
of matter with one another, * This fact received the name of 
samprayoga^ i-e., a thorogh and intensive union, and it was 
explained as anuparivartana^ i.e., a following and enveloping 
of consciousness by concomitant mental phenomena or the 

ir., iii, 25, Cf. O. Eosenberg, FrohUmt^ p. 223. 



26 


THE CENTRAL CONCEPTION OF BUDDHISM 


secondai’y mental elements (caittd). It must not be magined 
that this close connexion of consciousness with other mental 
elements means any unity between them, allowing only a 
logical distinction for purposes of analysis, as in modern 
psychologies. A Buddhist element is always a separate entity, 
it is neither "‘compound” nor “phenomenon,” but an ele- 
ment (dharma). The close connexion, “envelopment” of con- 
sciousness by other mental elements only means that they are 
its satellites, they appear and disappear together, they are 
produced by the same causes, and have the same moral 
aspect.®® Ten such satellites are the minimum number to ac- 
company consciousness (citta) at every moment; a feeling, an 
idea, a volition, some attention, some understanding 
prajjia), some concentration (samadhi) etc., are always present 
in every conscious moment.®® They are conjoined, but con- 
joined by the law of “satellites” {samprayoga),^^ 

The Sarvastivadin school rekons in all six different causal 
relations, but in these details the schools varied a great deal, 
and they evidently represent a later development of the ori- 
ginal idea. The detailed account given in the Ahhidharma- 
kosh represents the doctrine in its final form which it received 
in the abhidharma of the Sarvastivadins. 

X. KAKMA ^ 

One of the most illuniinating features of Buddhist philosophy 
is its deep research into the phenomenon of moral causation. 
All Indian systems contain an appeal to the “unknown” 
(adrsta^ apurva) as a transcendental cause which has to be 
posited in explaining the origin and the ultimate goal of life. 
The Buddhists distinguish between (1) causation among ele- 
ments of dead matter, where the law of homogeneity (sabhag^>' 
hetu) between cause and result reigns, (2) causation in the 

K.. ii, 52, reckons ten different ties of the “satellites” with 
citta. The Theravada seems to reckon only four, cf. Asl., p. 42 : 
ehwppadadinam vasena sampayogattho vutto. 

®®The number is then increased by the four sam-sJcrtadafcsccnas of each 
element, and by the four lahsanas and four amlahsmas of citta itself, 
thus making fifty-eight satellites the minimum number to unite in every 
single hsano with citta. the fifty-ninth (Ab. K., ii, 62). 

®®The figurative words of Buddhaghosa (quoted by Mrs. Bhys Davids, 
B. Psych^ p. .54) are apparently intended to describe this kind of union. 
That yijnma is the ^ most general mental element is admitted by all 
Buddhists; but that it “Includes and involves other elements, let alone 
aggregates, has never been admitted in abhidharma — it would be pure 
vijnanu’vada. The sam'prayoga connexion is known to Buddhaghosa; cf. 
^^7- p, 42. The Ah. K.. i, 35. (Tibetan, p. 62, 9, argues that, if the 
mental phenomena were not different from citta^ they would not have 
been called caiita. 



X. KARMA 


27 

organic world, where we have the phenomenon of growth 
(upacaf^, and (3) causation in the animate world, where the 
operation of moral causation (vipaka-hetu) is superimposed 
upon the natural. The elements constituting the stream of 
our present life are conditioned, in addition to the natural 
course of events, by the mysterious efficiency of past elements 
or deeds, if the latter have possessed a moral character of some 
force or prominence. The different activities of everyday^ 
life have no such efl6ciency. But a prominent deed, whether 
good or bad, will affect the whole stream and may carry its 
result either at an early or very remote date. The resulting' 
event (vipakd-phulci) is always indifferent (dxjycikTtd^ in the 
moral sense, because it is a natural outflow’ of a previous cause, 
and is supposed not to be produced voluntarily. This moral 
law is also called karma. 

The influence of karma is not in the Buddhist outlook so 
overwhelming, controlling the w’hole universe, as it is in other 
non-Buddhist systems, and as it also becomes, under the name 
of vasanaf in the later idealistic systems of Buddhism also. 
In abkidharma it is one of the forces controlling the world 
process: it is the chief force so far as it controls its gradual 
progre'ss towards Final Deliverence. Its operation is subject to 
the following conditions. Every fact produced by the ' 'matur- 
ing ^nfluence^' (vipaka) of moral or intellectual antecedents 
(kar?na) necessarily belongs to animate life (sattvakhyah) but 
is by itself morally indifferent (avyakrto dharmah). It is in- 
different because it is a natural outcome of antecedents, it 
always arrives involuntarily, automatically. If something is 
produced voluntarily, it may become the starting point of a 
new development. When it has an outspoken strong moral 
character, whether good or bad, it becomes karma, and will 
have corresponding consequences which, again, will appear 
automatically, since they are fully foreshadowed by their ante- 
cedent and are not voluntary acts. This explains the defini- 
tion of Karma, as given by Vasubandhu: Karma is wdll 
(cetana) and voluntary action (cetayitva karanam).^^ Exactly 
the same difinition is found in the Pali canon, and evidently 
was current in Buddhism from the beginning.^^ 

When a new life is produced, its component elements, i.e., 
the eighteen classes {dhatus) of elements, are present, although 
in an undeveloped condition. The first moment of the new 
life is conventionally called vijnana. It constitutes the third- 

K., iv, 1 ff. 

^^Anguttatay vot iv., 415. 



THE CENTRAL CONCEPIION OF BUDDHISM 




member (nidana) of the ever revolving “wheel of life.’’’ Its 
antecedents are karma, i.e., the good or bad instinct^^tidang 
to it from the beginning. In the formula of the “wheel of 
life” this member appears under the name of samskara, i.e., 
pre-natal forces. Another, more general, antecedent is avidya, 
the first member of the wheel, representing the defiling influ- 
ence {klesa) of ignorance and other vices, the absence of dis- 
aiminating knowleage (prajna). Among the components 
(dhaiu) of the new life ten represent matter. They are 
atomic. The atoms are compound atoms, they contain the 
usual eight components with addition of particles of sensibility- 
or “organic’’-stuff ( = indriya). The 
tangibility' ’-stuff (kayendriya) pervades the whole body. 
In some parts of the body, e.g., in the organ of vision, the 
atoms have a still more complicated structure. But not only 
does matter consist of compound atoms, it consists of raomen- 
taiA' appearances of atoms. In dead, inorganic matter one 
moment follows the other, obeying solely the law of unifor- 
mity or homogeneous production (sabhagaja). The next 
moment follows automatically (nhyanda) on the former one. 
There is neither growth nor decay. This uniform course 
would represent the Buddhist countei-part of what we 'mio-ht 
call eternity of matter. Although the same matter is dso 
present in the organic body, nevertheless the term “uniform 
course ’ {sabhaga-hetu) cannot be applied to it in that condi- 
tion. It IS reserved for those cases where there are no other 
causes m addition to the uniform sequence of moments con- 
stituting ^ inorganic matter. When other processes-the 

process or growA (upacaya), the influence of intellectual and 
moral causes {vipaka)—z.vt superimposed upon the uniform 
course of the existence of matter, when it becomes organic and 
living, the consecution of its moments receives other names 
Uipacayaja, vipakaja). The pure “uniformity-relation’’ 

between consecutive moments-the subhaga-msyanda-rdiUmn 
—obtains only m the realm of inorganic, dead matter. When 
the atoms of organic matter have assembled, the phenomenon 
ot growth (upacaya) becomes the controlling principle of deve- 
lopment. the atoms increase in number. This process of growth 
IS supported by favourable circumstances: good food ^nna- 
msesa), quiet sleep (svapna-visesa), physical tidiness (samskara- 
visesa), and careful behaviour (samadhi-visesa). But this 
^owth IS not the only factor which controls the develop- 
ment of Imng bodies. The influence of what we may ter^ . 
heredity steps in, and is superimposed upon the natural 
process of growth. This is the influence of karma, the 



X. KARMA 


29 ^ 


maturing^ (vipaka) influence oi moral antecedents. When the 
organs of the body are being formed, or are developing, this 
influence conditions their flnal constitution. The question 
is then raised, what is the mutual relation of these two 
different agencies, natural development and heredity? The 
answer is that the first process constitutes the “vanguard/’ 
or a rampart, under the protection of which the second, the 
vipaka, may safely operate.^*' It is not quite easy to realize 
what such an answer may exactly mean. At any rate, it sug- 
gests a more subtle, spiritual, or semi-spiritual character of 
the second force. Karma is not quite physical (paudgalika) 
with the Buddhists, as it is with the Jains, but it seems to be 
semi-physical, since it interferes in the disposition of atoms ^ 
along with the principle of growth that accumulates them. 

A very interesting illustration of the meaning of these 
Buddhist conceptions about heredity, retribution, etc., — all 
facts falling under the head of karma-xdpaka — ^is given by the 
following scholastic question. Voice is always produced 
voluntarily, consequently it cannot be the product of moral 
antecedents, of karma. It is not vipakaja for all the facts 
of heredity are produced automatically (nisyanda). But we 
know that the Great Man {rnahapurusa) i.e. a Buddha, has a 
captivating, melodious voice, a noble elocution. It is one of 
the characteristic gifts of a Buddha, and is due, like all his 
sublime qualities, to heredity, i.e. to a long course of moral 
progress running through generations. Therefore his extra- 
ordinary voice and elocution must likewise be a consequence 
of his moral antecedents (vipakaja). The puzzle is solved by 
assuming a double causality. The configuration of atoms in 
his organs of speech was influenced by heredity, i.e. moral 
causes (vipakaja), but his actual speech is a voluntary, not an 
automatical act, and therefore could not be interpreted as a 
direct product of his sublime nature, or the result of his ’ 
former achievements.®* 

The elemehls of moral defilement (klesa) are always 
present in (samiand), in a latent or patent condition. 

When latent they'' have the form of ^Tesidues*’ (anusaya), they 
stick to the other elements, pollute them, bring them into 
commotion and prevent theit coming down to rest. This 
influence of tie disquieting elements in life is termed “generaT 
cause’^ (sarvatraga-hetu) b^ause it affects the whole of the 

i, S7, and Tascoin, — upacaya-santana ripaha-santmmya ' 
panvara-mi^thanenaiva qmhm, 

Tib' text, pg, 65 ff. 



.:50 THE CENTRAL CONCEPTION OF BUDDHISM 

Stream of life {santana), all its elements become soil^. The 
primary cause of this unhappy condition is “illusion’' 
{avidya). the first, fundamental member in the wheel of life. 
It continues to exist and exhibit its influence as long as the 
“Wheel’' turns, and is gradually neutralized and finally stop- 
ped by an antidote in the form of transcending wisdom 
{prajna amala). Some details about this process will be given 
later on when dealing with the “unrest'’ of the elements. 
This process of gradual extinction of the klesas and the con- 
sequent purification of life is the ultimate aim of the Buddhist 
.doctrine. For the sake of it the analysis of life into elements, 
the research into their functions, and connexions was under- 
taken : saiiklesa-vyavadanikam idam sastram — this doctrine 
is a doctrine about defilement and purification, or, more 
exactly, about the commotion and final apeasement of life.**’^ 
Although emphatically banned from the dwelling of Bud- 
dhist philosophy and replaced by the laws of inter-connexion, 
the conceptions of substance and quality seem to have found 
a back-door through which partly to re-enter in their usual 
position. For the division of the elements of matter into 
primary and secondary {bhuta bhautika) and of the mental 
•elements into fundamental and derivative {citta and caitta) 
approaches very nearly the relation of substance and qunlity. 
The secondary are supported (asritay^ by the primary, and 
this connexion is inseparable; the one cannot appear without 
the other. In the Buddhist interpretation they are, neverthe- 
less, separate elements although linked together by the laws of 
causation. A special relation of simultaneous or reciprocal 
causation (sahabku) is then imagined to save the situation. In 
theory' the one element is as much the cause of the other as 
ihe latter is the cause of the former.^^ The mental phenomena 
are not included in consciousness (citta), but are standing by 
it, mutually they are enveloping (anuparivartante) it, but, 
nevertheless, they are separate elements.^® Notwithstanding these 

The second part of the second Kosa-sthana contains an exposi- 
tion of the hetu-j}Tatyaya theory. Gf. also Ah. X,, i, 36—4/ Tibetan 
-text, pp. 64 

The derived elements of matter are called upadaya-rvpa, i.e. 
hhutmi upadaya; cf. the discussion under Ah, K,. i, 23. 

«^Ibid.,.ii, 51. 

It is curious that the citta is related io by the sahabku 

relation, which is defined as mutual causality, one member being the 
cause of the other as much as the latter is the cause of the former. 
Nevertheless, the caittas stand to citta in another relation, called > 
samprayoga. They "‘envelop’* the citta, but do not enter into it, for 
this would mean “inherence,** which is prohibited. Through the cobweb 
of these devices one can clearly watch the apparition of lie ghost of the 
"Soul, which it hag cost so much effort to ban. 



XI. IMPERMANENCE OF THE ELEMENTS 31 

efforts jjo maintain their equal rights, we see that the attempt 
has not Deen successful, since there is a primary and secondary 
position; the secondary is spoken of as supported by the 
pimary and their connexion is inseparable. It is presumably 
for this reason that Buddhadeva, one of the celebrities of the 
Sautrantika school, revolted against such inequality of treat- 
ment, and denied the difference between primary and secon- 
dary elements; he maintained that all were equally primary 
{bhuta and not hhautika).^ But this stricture had no success; it 
was disposed of by reference to the Scriptures and by pointing, 
as it would seem, to the prominence of the tactile sense-data; 

the general manifestations (Jaksana) of matter repulsion, 

attraction, heat, and motion — are all tactile phenomena, and 
they are general,®® whereas colour etc., can be apprehended by 
vision alone. Moreover, the translucent matter of the sense 
organs could not exist (i.e., appear) without being backed by 
some more consistent forces.^®® 

XL IMPERMANENCE OF TFIE ELEMENTS 

The elements of existence are momentary appearances, momen- 
tary flashings into the phenomenal world out of an unknown 
source. Just as they are disconnected, so to say, in breadth, 
not being linked together by any pervading substance, just so 
are ftiey disconnected in depth or in duration, since they last 
only one single moment (ksana). They disappear as soon as 
they appear, in order to be followed the next moment by 
another momentary existence. Thus a moment becomes a 
synonym of an element (dharma), two moments are two 
different elements. An element becomes something like 
a point in time-space. The Sarvastivadin school makes an 
attempt mathematically to determine the duration of a 
moment.^®^ It, nevertheless, admittedly represents 'the emaliest 
particle of tithe imaginable. Such computations of the size of 

♦Ibid., i., 35. 

Charaka {sharirastliana, chap, i) likewise points out that the 
lakamas of his five hhutas are tactile phenomena — sparc-^ndriya- 
gocaram, ' 

Buddhadeva in his turn quotes the Garhliavakranti-rntta (not to 
be traced in the Pali canon) and a passage stating that at the concep- 
tion moment of ^Buddha (i.e., the third nidanu^ technicaliy called 
vij7%ana) the embryo was saddhatuha, i.e. consisting of six ele- 
ments, vijnma, four mahdbhtttas, and akasha i the Whcaitikm are not 
mentioned. But it is answered that the mahahkutas are alone mentioned, 
since bhuta fl:*epre56nts the hhautikas as well, and vijnana is here equi- 
valent i to citta Sitid f aitta {Ah. K'-, i, 35, Tibetan text, p. 62, 6 ff). 
^ushruta xii) has the same view as Buddhadeva. He like- 
wise shares the view that^ the prominence, not the quantity, of 

*one kind of atoms, d,etermines the class of the conapound. 

Ah. It., iii, 15, cf. S, Z. Aung, Compenditm, p. 25- 



32 


THE CENTR.\L CONCEPTION OF BUDDHISM 


the atom and of the duration of a moment ax'e evidenti)' mere 
attempts to seize the infinitesimal. The idea that two inomeuts 
make two different elements remains. Consequently, the ele- 
ments do not change, but disappear, the tvoiid becomes a 
cinema. Disappearance is the very essence of existence; what 
does not disappear does not exist. A cause for the Bud- 
dhists was not a real cause but a preceding moment, whicir 
likewise arose out of nothing in order to disappear into 
nothing. 

It is at present impassible to determine the epoch when 
this theory was definitely framed. Some of the oldest schools, 
at any rate, expressed it very cleariy.^^** ITey maintained 
that mountains, trees, the elements of matter, ail elements in 
general, were momentary apparitions, like moments of thought. 
The schools differed on this point, and the complete logical, 
demonstration was constructed probably, at the time when. 
logic had taken the place of abhidharma.^^'^ But it is easy to- 
realize that, given the fundamental Buddhist idea of the 
plurality and separateness (prthaktva) of their elements this 
idea, worked out with the characteristic Indian intrepidity in. 
philosophical- construction, must have been carried to its. 
logical consequence, i.e., the assuming of no duration, since 
there was no stuff that could possess duration. 

A consequence of this doctrine was a denial of motion. 
A really existing object, i.e., an element, cannot move, because 
it disappears as soon as it appears, there is no time for it to* 
move. This does not contradict the circumstance that one of 
the general characteristics of matter, the fourth mahabhuta>- 
is motion. Every motion is resolved in a series of separate 

Thus existence becomes synonymous with non-existence, since 
every fact disappears at the same moment when it appears; this is the* 
Indian ^ way of expressing the idea developed by H. Bergson, Of eat ire 
Erohition,^ p. 2 \ “the truth is that we change without ceasing, and that 
the state itself is nothing but change.’’ The conclusion of Bergson is to 
the indivisibility of duration, whereas the Buddhists stick to- 
the separate moments and make them appear out of nothing — asata 
'litpadah-^mi again disappear into T\oi\\mg^niranrmja~idnaahm\ cf. 
Nywjahindait, p. 68. Vedanta^sntra, ii, 2, 6. and iSamkliya-mtra^ i,. 
44-5, accuse the Buddhists of converting existence into non-existence, 
KatJmvatthaf xxii, 8: eka-citta khmiil'a mbbe dhamma\ 

The ancient term seems to have been avitya, which is accepted by 
all schools. It was replaced in the sequel by hanika. This may reflect 
some change in the deiiniteness ol the view. The logical argument is 
that every moment being a different determination, must be a separatee- 
entity : dhy anyad vmtK, cf. NyayaUndV’ 

p. 5 (Bihl. lnd.}, By the conversion of the propositiom j/n/ nat 
ksmikam^ it was proved that, if something did not disappear ’it did nos 
doctrine is fully expounded in Ratnakirti> Ksmahlianga^idO 
(Six Buddhist tracts, Bihh Ind,)^ and is contx'overted in numerous- 
Brahmamcal works. « , 



XI. IMPKRiMANENCE OF 1 HE FLEMENTS 35 

appafit^iis, or flashings, arising in contiguity to one another/^^ 
Motion c)£ physical objects, as explained in the abhidhai'ma,. 
gave the best support to the consideration of dead matter as 
a series of evanescent flashings. The phenomenon of acceleration 
of falling bodies is explained by a difference in the intensity 
of the element weight oi motion (irana) at every moment of 
its downward course since the object at ever)' moment is 
differently composed. An element is thus comparable to a 
fire, it consists of a series of separate flashings following one 
another, every moment representing a new fire. 

• The Saxvastivadins construe the theory of the momentary 
character of the elements in the following manner.’ Every 
element appearing in phenomenal life is affected simultane- 
ously by four different forces (samskaras), the forces of origina- 
tion (utpadci). decay (jard), maintenance (sthiii), destruction 
(anityata).'^^^ These forces affect ever) element at every 
moment of its existence, they are the most universal forces,^ 
the characteristic feature or the manifesting forces of pheno- 
menal existence (saniskrta-laksanani). The elements affected 
by them are called the manifested elements {saniskrta'dhanna). 
Unaffected by them are only the three elements of eternal 
unchanging existence (asamskrta-dharma). The term samskrta 
is therefore synonymous with ksanika, i.e., impermanent or 
moiifentary.^'’^ 

According to the laws of interconnexion between elements,, 
these four forces always appear together and simultaneously. 
They are sahahhu}^^ Being elements themselves, they are in 
need of secondary forces (upalakshana) in order to displays 
their efficiency. The realistic tendency of the Sarvastivadins, if 
there w^as any, consisted in constructing some realities corres- 
ponding to our ideas or habits of speech. This tendency they 

Ad. K., iv,.2, na (jatir^ nashat : it is not kriya, but nirantara^ut'yada,. 
see below, under Theory of Cognition. 

Ah. A"., ii, 46. The Vaishesika admit one indivisible sdmshcera 
till the cessation of a motion. This would correspond to Bergson’s idea, 
of the indivisibility of motion. The Naiyayikas, on the contrary, admit- 
as many smnsharas as there are momentary hriyas. 

it is expounded with all details of the issue between Sautrantikas- 
and Sarvastivadins by Vasubandhu in K., ii. 46. Prof. L. de la 

Vallee Poussin has kindly communicated to me his French translation of 
this important text, which I compared wdth my own English translation. 

Sometimes reduced to three — ^birth, subsistence and decay. 

The k’a^ation of smtisJcrta-dharnia as “compound” is a contradic- 
tio' m adjerfo. A dharma is never compound, it is always simple. Where- 
•ever there is composition there are several dhctrnvas. 

Just as the cMtta never appears without simultaneously being accom- 
panied by ehaitta-dhannas.^ or the four malmbhufas' appearing simultane- 
ously with the hhaufi'^nf 



THE CENTRAL CONCEPllON OF BUDDHISM 


M 


:shaxed with the Nyaya-Vaicesika system, just as latter 
had a quality of conjunction {samyoga) as something real, 
.addition^ to the things which were joining, just so the 
-Sarvastivadins had their origination, decay, existence, and 
•destruction in addition to the elements originating and dis- 
appearing at the same moment. They insisted that these four 
forces, and the secondary potencies influencing them in their 
turn, were realities {dravyatah santi). Against this idea of an 
^element which was simultaneously originating, existing, and 
disappearing, the very natural objection was raised by all the 
•other Buddhist and non-Buddhist schools that production and 
destruction could not be simultaneous. On the other hand, it 
■was impossible to allow an element more than one single 
moment’s duration, since two moments constituted two 
^elements. The Sarvastivadins met the objection by pointing 
to the difference between an element in itself, its real nature 
{svabhava) and its efficiency-moment, its function, or manifesta- 
tion {karitva, laksana). The elements or forces may be opposed 
to one another, yet their effect may result in some single real 
fact, as e.g., supposing three assassins have resolved together 
to kill a man hiding in some dark recess, one of them, (utpada) 
pulls him out of his hiding place (the future), the other seizes 
him, the third stabs him, all acting simultaneously, o The 
tdctim (dharma) appears only to disappear. The reality 
moment is the moment of action, of its being achieved. *‘We 
call a moment,*’ the Sarvastivadins maintain, “the point when 
an action is fully achieved.’’ We have here the germ of the 
later idea that this moment is something transcendental, 
something that cannot be expressed in a discursive thought.^^’* 
The moment was then raised to the position of the “thing 
in itself,”^ the transcendental foundation of reality ; indeed, 
the absolute reality itselP^^ — a conception which had great 
importance in the development of later Indian philosophy.^^® 
The Sautrahtika school takes a more simple and reason- 
able view of the question. They deny the reality of the four 


Kriya-'parisaTTiapti-IaJcshmana eso nah hsanah, Ah. K., ii 46 ; cf. 
Nyayabindutika, p. 13. (Bibl. Ind.) : ksanihe rastuni...e/ca--kriya~haritvena 
.tahakart gray ate. 

^^^ Ksanasya (jnaneTia) prapayitum acakyatvai (ibid. p. 161 
Svalaksana, ibid, 

Paramartha-sat, ibid. 

, Identified the moment with pure sensation, where 

“flubject and object ^coalesce, and the Vedantins deemed that we have in 
^ Pf ception of^ hrahna. The Indian astronomers and* 

conception of instantaneous motion 

oujitA""; iS n“' “ ‘"“““•''j' 



XI. IMPERMANENCE OP THE ELEMENTS 35 

» 

manifestation-forces of production, decay, The corres- 

ponding notions of production, destruction, etc., refer, not to 
single moments, but to series of them [santana)?-^'^ Even if 
applied to one moment these notions do not imply the 
existence of corresponding realities, they are mere names for 
the fact that a momentary entity ap|>ears and disappears.^ 
This entity itself appears and disappears, there is no need of 
supplementary forces for this. Consequent on that, a further 
very important divergence between the two schools arises. As 
stated above, the Sarvastivadins maintain that all elements 
exist on two different planes, the real essence of the element 
{clharma-svabhava) and its momentary manifestation (dharma- 
lakshmana). The first exists always, in past, present, and future. 
It is not eternal (iiitya) because eternality means absence of 
change, but it represents the potential appearances of the 
element into phenomenal existence, and its past appearances as 
well. This potentiality is existing for ever (sarvada asti). 
Even in the suppressed state of Nirvana, when all life is 
extinct, diese elements are supposed to represent some entity, 
although its manifestation-power has been suppressed for ever. 
The futm’e potential elements are, indeed, divided in this 
school into two different sets, those that will appear {utpatti- 
dh^ma) and those that are suppressed and never will appear 
(anutpatti-dharma). Since the moment (kshana) is not some- 
thing different from the element (dharma), time in general is 
not different from the elements taken collectively, as far as 
they have not lost their capacity of appearing in phenomenal 
life. In fact, “the times’" is one of the synonyms used to 
designate collectively the elements appearing in ordinary 
life.“® But the term ‘‘time’’ (kala), implying the reality of 
one time, is carefully avoided; it is replaced by the term 
“transition” (adhvan). When the Sarvastivadin maintains that 
“everything exists”, it means that all elements exist, and the 
emphasis which is put on the reality of elements refers to the 
conception that their past as well as their future transition 
represents something real. From this fundamental tenet the 
school derives its name. Since the conception of an element 
answers rather to our conception of a subtle force than of a 
substance, the reality, i.e. effectiveness of the past is not so 
absurd as it otherwise would appear.. The Sautrantikas denied 
the reality of the past and the future in the direct sense, they 
admitted the reality only of the present. The future, they 

Dravvato na santi, cf. Ah. K.. ii, 46. 

vpadana-shandha, cf. Ah.K., i, 7', Tibetan text, p. 12, 6. 



36 


THE CEMT^AL CONCEPTION OF BUD0H1SM 


ccnteiided, was not real before becoming present, an<>"The past 
was not real after having been present. lliey did not deny 
the influence of past facts upon present and remote future 
ones, but they explained it by a gradual change in an un- 
interrupted sequence of moments, this sequence having a 
starting-point in a conspicuous or strong iinpingeing fact ; it 
was for them one of the laws of interconnexion between 
separate elements.^ 

There was another school w^hich occupied an intermediate 
position between the Sautrantikas and Sarvastivadins; it 
maintained the reality of the present facts and of drat part 
of the past ones whicli had not already lost their influence, 
but the reality of the future ones and of that part of the past 
ones which had ceased to exhibit any influence it denied. 
Vasubandhu calls this school the Vibhajyavadins, ox Distin- 
guishing School.^-^ The w^hole argument between the rival 
schools is presented by Vasubandhu with every detail in 
his usual masterly manner and need not be repeated here.''^'* 

XII. IMPERMANENCE IN SANKEIYA-Y0C;A 

The deprecation of “change and decay’' and its contrast with 
something that “changes not" is a popular theme, wdth many 
religions and philosophies. The merit of having workdil it 
out up to the remotest logical consequences appertatins to 
Buddhism. It appears that in this work the Buddhists were 
assisted by the parallel wc«:k of Brahmanical philosophers of 
the Sankhya-Yoga school. The starting-point of the latter was 
just the reverse of the Buddhistic one. They maintained a 
unity of existence, cause and effect were one in essence. But 
a corollary of the unity of substance (satkaryu-vada) was the 
constant change of its manifestations; this change was also 
conceived as momentary (pratiksana-parinama). The moment 
is here defined as the infinitesimally small measure of time, 
just as the atom is the sm 2 d!est imaginable fraction of matter.^ 
Two moments cannot coalesce, therefore there is no real 

Ab.K.^ V. 24 ff, cf. Appendix. 1. 

Ah^.j ix, cf. 8&ul Theory^ p. 949. 

Kathavatthu, i, 8, such opinions ai’e ascribed to the Kacya- 
payas. These also admitted the reality of that part of the future which 
was foreshadowed or fixed hy the past or present. Hiuen Thsang states 
in his Commentary that the Kacyapiyas are here meant under the name 
of Vibhaiyayadins (McGovern), The Theravadins seem to have shared 
the same opinions as the Sautrantikas. The explanation of vibhajya-rada 
as orthodo^ or analytic school because Buddha himself was rihhajya- ^ 
rmitn (cf. Kathavatthu, introduction) seems to be unknown to Vasubandhu. 

Cf. translation in Appendix T. 

^®*Vyasa’s Bhasya, ad iii, 52, 

Ihid. 



XU. IMPERxMANEXCE iN SANKHVA-YOGA 


duration/^' no time outside the moment.^^*’. , Time is an idea 
without reality, an empty construction of the mind.^^" The 
only reality is the momentary thing. The past and the future 
are not real directly, but, since the present cannot exist 
without a past, the latter is inherent in the fact of change.^-® 
"‘Therefore,’^ says Vyasa, '‘the whole universe is included in 
one single moment, all the real units of change you may 
imagine'^® are merged in every single moment. Conclud- 
ing, Vyasa admits two kinds of eternit), immutable eternity 
belonging to the soul and eternity of mutation belonging to 
matter.^-’^ The unit of change is termed dharma^ and it is 
identified -with the moment (kshana) in Yoga as well as in 
Buddhism. The change of manifestation was called a change 
of dharrnn;'^^'^ but in the Brahmanical system it is quite natural 
to make use of this term, since an old and usual meaning of 
it is “quality’ ^ and in the Sankhya view the changing mani- 
festations are appurtenances of some pervading stuff. It is 
therefore probable that the technical meaning of this term 
in Buddhism developed from one of its old meanings, wdth 
the difference that, quality being left without any support by 
the substance, it became an independent quality, or quality 
in the role of substance. As in the Buddhist system, these 
marftfestations are conceived as forces (shaktiy^^ and even 
potential forces (yogyatavacchin 72 ay'^'^ corresponding to the 
Buddhist conception of a samskara. The dijfference is that 
they belong to some substance {dharmin). The reality of 
“transition-time {adhvan) as distinguished from a “duration- 
time” {kala) was admitted ; the same term — adhvan — is used on 
both sides to express the fiist of these conceptions.^^ ^ 

If we turn to the Sarvastivadin view, which admitted some 
transcendental everlasting reality of the elements along with 
their passing manifestations, the similarity becomes still more 
striking, and the dijfference is often restricted to the wording. 
A dharma, says Vyasa, exists in all the three timesA^^ The 
manifestation (dharma) and the manifested (dharmin) are quite 
the same, the manifestation represents only the w^ay in which 

Ksona-tathra mayor vasfi rasfu-samaharah, ibid. 

Vasfura nyo huddhinirvianah , ibid. 

128 Par InanmTivi fall, ibid. 

Ibid, ami sarre dharmah. 

Tbid, fatl’Scmo2^aruddhah, 

Ibid., iv., 53. 

^^=Jbid., iii, 13. 

’“Ibid., hi, 14. 

Ibid. 

Tbid., iv, 12. 

Ibid., hi, 13. 



38 


THK CENTRAL CONGEPTIOIs OF BUDDHISM 


the manifested appears.^^^ The reality of the past ^and the 
future is then proved By Patanjali and Vyasa in almost the 
same expressions that are used by the Sarvastivadins/^® with 
the difiEerence that there is no mention of separate forces 
(samskrta-laksanani) of production and destruction. When 
accused of drifting into Sankhya, the Sarvastivadins justihed 
themselves by pointing to these momentary forces, which saved 
the Buddhist principle of detached entities.^^'*’ 

The question of the relation between the permennt 
essence of an element and its manifestation was thoroughly 
discussed among Buddhists, and four solutions were suggested. 
The first belonged to Dharmatrata : it maintained unity of 

substance {dravya) along with a change in existence (bhava). 
This was dismissed by simply pointing to the obvious fact 
that this was Sankhya and not Buddhism. The second 
explanation belonged to Ghosa; it assumed that elements^ 
although existent in the past, present and future, changed their 
aspect (lakshmana) or intensity, accordingly as the}' appeared 
at different times; just as the passionate love for one woman 
is only an intensification of a feeling which is alive towards 
women in general; it does not mean total absence of this feeling 
in other cases. This explanation was not accepted on the 
ground that it implied co-existence of the diflerent aspects^^^at 
the same time, Vasumitra advocated a change of condition 
(avastha), i.e., of efficiency {karitva) in the present, and non- 
efficiency in past and future. This view was accepted in the 
school as the correct one. It was illustrated by the ball of 
an Indian abacus: being thrown in the hole for units it means 
one, in the hole for hundreds — hundred, etc. Finally 
Buddhadeva thought that past, present, and future \vere con- 
tingent {apehsa) upon one another, just as the same woman 
may be a mother with respect to her child and a daughter 
with respect to her mother. This was dismissed as leading to 
a confusion of the times. The passage of the Vihhasa, where 
these opinions of four celebrated masters of the Sarvastivadin 

Ibid. 

The SarvasUvadins argue that the past and Ihe future mini exist 
because we have knowledge of the past and of tlie future obieets ; this 
knowledge cannot be of jion-existence, i.e., of nothing. We find quite tlie 
same argument in V j/dsa-hhasya ad iv. 12, cf. Appendix T. S'trosp is laid 
upon the conception adhvan ^‘transition*’, when tlie reality of past and 
present are asserted : adliva-vishistatmja mUrttm traifa7}aui apt/ a 
(Yachaspati ad Vyni^n-hhast/n, iv, 12). This reality i.s inheronl in the fact 
of transition : ye tu hhvta-hJint iiiah hsanos (c parmautant'Ha ryahhyoi/nh 
(ibid.^.^ iii. 52). Otherwise there would he contradiction Vet ween iv, 12. 
and iii. 52. where it is said : rta varrnitaTadesanah f^aitti. 

Cf. Appendix 1. 

Ibid. 



XII. IMPERMANENCE IN SANKHYA-YOGA ^9 

9 

and Sautranlika schools ware reported, enjoyed apparently 
great popularity. Reference is made to it in later Buddhist 
works,^*^^ and it evidently was borrowed from the Buddhists 
by Patanjali and Vyasa. Yogasutra^^^ aims at giving an 
explanation of the time variations of one substance; it adopts 
the suggested explanations not as exclusive of one another,, 
but as subordinate and co-existent. The change of manifesta^ 
tion (dharma) is characterized further on as a change of 
aspect (lakshmana) and condition (avastha). The characteristic 
examples for illustrating the suggested explanations are 
repeated in Vyasa*s Bhasya with slight modifications. Asi 
though answering the variety of the Buddhist theories, Vyasa 
emphatically maintains that the change of quality (dharma),. 
aspect (lakshmana) and condition (avastha) is but the same 
fact variously described. ‘‘There is, therefore,’' says he,, 
“only one kind of mutation of matter, though variously des- 

cribed by us The mutations of external aspect 

of time-variations (lakshmana) and of intensity (avastha), as 

described, do not transcend the substance as such. Hence 
there is only one kind of mutation which includes all those 
varieties we have described. Buddhadeva's theor) that the 
time variations are contingent upon one another, which 
lo^cally leads to the conclusion that essence and manifesta- 
tion are interchangeable terms, may have influenced the some- 
what nmilar theory of Patanjali and Vyasa that substance and 
quality are contingent (sapekshika) terms.^^^ 

The doctrine of momentary universal change originated 
probably in the Sankhya system. From this doctrine it 
receives the name of a Theory of Change — parinama-vada^. 
which is only a natural corollary of its fundamental principle of 
unity between cause and effect (satkarya-vada). It is natural to 
surmise that early Buddhism has been influenced by it. But 
in a later period the Sarvastivadin philosophers unquestionably 
exercised a considerable influence on the formation of the 
Sankhya-Yoga doctrine.^^® 


As e.g. in Bhavya’s account of the sects ; cf. Eockhiirs Life of 
Buddha. 

13. 

Cf. Professor J. H. Woods’ translation in his Yoga System of 
Patanjali (Harvard 0. S.) p. 217, 

^'^"'‘Vyasa, iii, 15. 

^'‘®The points of similarity between the Buddhist system and the 
Sankhya-Yoga, especially a.s presented in the Y oga-Sufra and Bhasya, 
are so overwhelminqrly numerous that they could not escape the attention 
of the students of ab hi dharma. Some of them have been occasionally 
noticed above. The point deserves special treatment. Professor de la 
Yallee Poussin has kindly communicated to me in MS. a paper prepared 



40 


iHIi CJENTRAL CONCEPTION OP BUDDHISM 


XIII. UNREST OF THE ELEMENTS 

The third salient feature of Buddhist derueiits is ilia: they 
represent duhkha, a term which has alwa)s been rendered by 
suffering, sorrow, etc. SuiBScient as :his irUcrpretation may be 
for popular literature, it is evident that theoretically something 
else is meant. Such expressions as “the elemen, of vision 
{chaksuh) is sorrow”,^ “all elements influenced [sasuiva, i.e., 
influenced by desire to live) are sorrow”^ — an element 
“colour” might be brought under the head of “sorrow"’ as 
welL‘^® — could not be understood if our usual idea of sorrow 
was brought in. The idea underlying it is that the elements 
described above are perpetually in a state of commotion, and 
the ultimate goal of the world process consists in their gradual 
appeasement and final extinction. The old Buddhist credo 
(ye dharma hetii-prabhavah) already expresses the idea very 
sharply: “the Great Recluse has indicated the (separate) 
elements, their interconnexion as causes and effects, and their 
final suppression.” 

Vasubandhu likewise^'^^ states that Buddha in his compassion 
for the troubles of mankind offered them a means of salvation 
which did not consist of magic or religious boons, but of the 
knowledge of a method of converting all utpatti-dharmas imto 
anut pal ti-d liar 77ias, i.e. of stopping for ever the commotion 
created by the operation of the forces active in the process of 
life.^^° Our conception of a Buddhist element (dharma) 
would not be complete if this connotation of a commotion to 
be suppressed (heya) ^vere not included, along with its non- 
substantiality and momentary evanescence. 

by him on the subject. He also informs me that Professor Kimuru in 
Japan has arrieved at the same conclusions independently from him': 

K., i, 19, Tibetan text, p, 31, 6. 

^^Tbid., i, 9, Tibetan text, p. 13, 6 : 

^^**Because it is entered into the uimdmia-skandlim^ a synonym of 
which is duhhha and duhhha-samudaya (J/;. K., i, 8, Tibetan text, 
B. W.) The translation of anja-satya by “Aryan facts” (M. Ting and 
Mrs. Rhys Davids) is evidently better than the old translation “truth”. 
What is really meant is a distribution of the elements (dharma) into 
four stages, unrest (dulikha) and its cause (samudaya)^ final appeasement 
{nirodJia) and its cause (maTga), a formula of elements corresponding to 
■every stage. The sasrav a- dharma^ are the same as duhicha and 
^ami/daya, the avasrava-dharTnas the same as nirodha and marqa \ cf. 
Ah. K., i, 3. Thus duKkha in this formula does not at all mean “sorrow”, 
fiut it is a synonym of the seventy-two dkarmm, or the five 'Updana- 
sl'andhas. Its general meaning is exactly the same as the meaning of 
the formula ;/#; dKmnma. This duhhha is fannama-duhkha, Evidently 
Xedi Sadaw had this conception in view when pointing to the difference 
between two kinds of duhhha i cf. Mrs. Rhys Davids, B. PsyrJi, p, 83. 
Cf. S. Schayer, Mahm/anisthcht BrlmimgsJeiiTBn, p. 6. 

Ah. K„ i, 1. ^ . 

K,, i, 1. 



XIII. UNREST OE THE ELEMENTS 


41 


This ’^eature converts the dharma-th^oiy into a doctrine of 
.salvation — the chief aim of theoretical as well as practical 
Buddhism. The doctrine amounts shordy to the following 
details. From the view-point of a gradual progress towards 
Final Deliverance all the elements of life may assume two 
diEerent characters : they either are characterized by a tendency 
towards life, commotion and turmoil, and then they are called 
sasrava,^'^'^ i.e. “influenced'’ by passions; or they are “uninflu- 
enced” (anasrava), i.e., the) e^^ibit tiie opposite tendency 
towards reduction of life, appeasement of commotion and e\cn 
.annihilation.^^- The passions (klesha). being themselves 
separate elements, i.e., represented as substantial entities, affect 
the stream of life (sayitana) to which they belong. Roughly, the 
first set of elements (the sasrava-cUtarmas) correspond to the 
ordinary man, with all his enjoyments and bothers in life; the 
second make up the saint (ary a), who stands aloof from all 
interest in life and cares only for Final Deliverance. A 
thorough knowledge, a discrimination,^^*’' of all elements of 
exigence is essential for Salvation, since when they are known 
they can be singled out and gTadually suppressed one after 
the other. The connotation of the term “element’’ (dharma) 
thus includes three further conceptions: (1) it is something that 
can well determined, i.e., distingnished in the complex 
stream of life as an ultimate reality ; (2) this something is in 
a state of eternal commotion; (3) it is something that must 
and can be appeased, and brought to an eternal standstill.^^^ 
A special element received in this connexion extraordinary 
prominence. It is termed prajyia, which may roughly be 
translated ‘ 'understanding.” It is one of the chitta-mahabhii- 
mika elements, i.e., a mental faculty always present, in every 
conscious moment. In the ordinary plane of existence it is 
synonymous with mati and means simple understanding, the 
capacity of appreciating something. But it is capable of 
development and becomes then prajna amala, 'Immaculate 
wisdom,” anasrnva prajna^ “understanding uninfluenced (by 

Ah. K., i, 3. The derivation of the word from the root sru 
is, no dmibt, cor>Tct, as is proved by the Jaina view of the Icarma matter 
“flowing:'’ into the body throuffh the pores of the skin. 

^®“The eternal as(itH'>l‘rfa elements are included among the anosrava 
-olass {Ah. K., i, 3'). 

K., i, 2., dharma-prarlraj/o—sk through picking out of elements 
one by one. 

, ^®*In the terminology of ahMdhnrma “something to be suppressed*’ 

means that it is an element {dharma)', cf. A 6. K., i, 15, Tibetan text, 
*27, 8, If something is not mentioned among the objects to be suppressed, 
that means that it is not a dharma', cf. Ah. K., ix. Soul Tlie.ory,y. 844. 
Something to he “well known, thoroughly known* ^ means likewise that 
irt is 3. dharma '(ibid-, p. 837). 



42 


THt CENTRAL CONCEPTION OF BUDDHISM 


mundane considerations).” Its presence gives ttfe whole- 
stream (saniana) a special character, it becomes the central 
element of the stream, and its saiellites— all other elements of 
the “stream” — feelings, ideas, volitions, become pure.^®^ The 
presence of this elemeii!; acts as an antidote against other 
elements that are “unfavourable” (akusala) for progress ; they 
gradually disappear and cannot reappear in the same stream. 
The first thing to be realized in sucli a state is the theory of 
the elements (dharmata), the idea that there is no' permanent 
personality (pud gala, ntma), that the supposed personality 
really is a congeries of eighteen components (dkatu). When 
the wrong view of an existing personality (satkaya-drsti) is dis- 
posed of, the path that leads to Final Deliverance is entered. 
Every vicious, or disquieting, ‘^unfavourable” (akusala) ' 
element has a special antidote in the agency of wisdom; when 
suppressed it becomes an anupaiti-dharma, an element which 
never will return, a blank is substituted for it; this blank 
(nirodha) is called “cessation through wisdom'^ (praiisa7ikJiya- 
nirodha)}^^ But only the initial stages of saintliness can he • 
raised through this so-called drsti-marga, i.c., through kno\v- 
ledge a certain amount of dharmas has its flashings stO]>ped. 
The remainder are stopped by mystical concentration, thc\' arc 
hhavana-heya,^^^ i.e., to be suppressed by entering the r^dms 
of trance. In all Indian systems die ultimate instrument of 
salvation is Yoga. This can not only do away with the intellec- 
tual and moral elements lha': are “unfavourable,” but can stop 
the existence or appearance of matter itself. We have seen 
that matter is reduced in this system to sense-data, which :ire 
conceived rather as forces, momentary flashings. Practical 
observation has shown to the philosophers that when a certain 
degree of intense concentration is I’eached the sensations of 
taste and smell disappear, hence, it is concluded, the objects, 
the sense-data of odour and taste, have likewise ^'ani'hed. 
Founded on this practical observation, a plane of existence has 

K., i, 2, and Yasom. comment. 

^^^Pratisankhi/a is svnonymons with pvdjna am ala \ It is the same as 
the prajna or prasanl-h 'inna in the lSankhya-Yo 2 ;a system, an n.e,’ency 
destroying the I'Jpfins. It was probably the original meaninfr of the- 
word samhhifu, fi-om which the system received its name. The Buddhist 
specification in the way of the preposition prati refers to the senaratenoss 
of the elements, of which every one needs a separate notifvi of wisdom' 
in order to be suppressed: cf. .16, i, 4. The same tendency is 

probably responsible for the term 'pfatl’mohsa instead of mnh^a, aa» 
<grati-viinavlUi , cf. above, p. 14 ; the term prati-hncldJia: on t^’c contrary, 
used as a designation of the “Enlightened One”, in the Upanisads 
{ck H. Oldenberg, Die Dehere dur Vpawliadcn, p. hM' by Jains, 
Sankhyas, bnt not by Buddhists. 

, i, 20. 



XIII. UNREST OF THE ELEMENTS 


43 - 


been imagtned/^® where living beings of “streams” {santana} 
consists only of fourteen instead of eighteen components.^ 

In the Ahhidhar^na-kosha the question is raised, how many 
elements can be suppressed through knowledge and how many 
through ecstasy ? and it is answered that some mental elements 
are suppressed by mere knowledge only, namely, the belief in 
a real personality (sat-kaya-drasii) and its consequences — all the 
feelings, ideas, and volitons and forces connected — they dis- 
appear as soon as the antidote, i.e. the anatma-dharma-theoTy,. 
is realized. Other impure elements (sasrava), all the material 
elements {dhatus 1 — 5 and 7 — 10), and all sensuous conscious- 
ness {dhatus 13 — *17; fifteen dhatus in all) can be suppressed only 
by ecstasy. Since matter was conceived as a play of subtle 
forces, its disappearance in a manner similar to the suppression 
of passion and wrong views is not so illogical. The purified 
elements of the saint {anasrava-dharma) could not be suppres- 
sed at all, but they likewise disappeared at the time of Nirvana,, 
through absence of new karma, i.e., elements of unrest {duh- 
kha), to which the commotion of the world was due. Imagin- 
ation has constructed whole worlds where these kinds of matter 
and sensations corresponding to them are absent, they are the 
worlds of reduced, or purified, matter.^®^ They can be entered 
eithe/by rebirth in them (utpatti), or by an effort of concentra- 
tion (samapatti), an absorption which transports into higher 
planes of existence not merely Buddhists. Working further on 
upon the same principle, higher worlds are constructed where 
the material side — the sense-data experience further reduction 
and finally worlds purely spiritual are reached, where every 
matter, i.e. all sensations and sense-data are absent. Speaking 
technically, the formula of a living being in these planes of 
existence will reveal only three component terms (dhatu): 
consciousness (mano-dhatu), mental phenomena and forces 
{dharjna-dhatu), and abstract, non-sensuous cognition {mano- 
vijnana-dhaiu)d^^ These purely spiritual beings (or, more 
precisely, formulas of being) have their consciousness and men- 
tal phenomena brought to a standstill at some very high planes 
of transic existence: the unconscious trance {asanjni-samapatti) 
and cessation trance (nirodha-samapatti). But this is, never- 
theless, not an eternal extinction. At last the absolute stoppage 
of all the pure dharmas of the highef^l spiritual beings is reach- 
ed, an eternal blank is substituted for them. This is Nirvana, 

K., hkasya, ad i, 30, Tibetan text, p. 53, 4, where this ex- 
planation is attributed to Srilabha, and is, evidently, shared by 
Yasubandhu himself, 

^®The dhatus Nos. 8-7 and 14-15 are in abeyance. 

'“46. K., i, 40. '“46. K., i, 30, rupa-Dhatu. '“46. K., i, 31. 



44 


THE CENTR-^L COISCEPHON OF BUDDHISM 


.absolute annihilation ol the samskrta-dharmas, whicii is tanta- 
mount to the presence of the asarnskrta-dharmas. 

According to the Satvastivadins, tliis quite negative result 
is, nevertheless, an entity of some kind. They make a differ- 
.ence, as stated above, between the essence and the manifesta- 
tions of the dharnias. At the time of Nirvana the manifest- 
ations have ceased for ever, there will be no rebirth, but this 
.essence remains. It is, nevertheless, a kind of entity where 
there is no consciousness. 

Thus the ultimate goal of the world-process, the final result 
of all purifying, spiritualizing agencies and efforts is a complete 
extinction of consciousness and all mental processes. The 
absolute (nirvana) is inanimate, even if it is something. It is 
sometimes, especially in popular literature, characterized as 
bliss, but this bliss consists in the cessation of unrest (duhkha). 
Bliss is a feeling, and in the absolute there neither is a feeling, 
nor conception, nor volition, nor even consciousness. The 
theory^ is that consciousness cannot appear alone without its 
satellites, the phenomena of feeling, volition, etc.,^^^ and the 
last moment in the life of a bodhisattva, before merging into 
the absolute, is also the last moment of consciousness in his 
continuity of many lives.^^^'^ The appeasement of wrong^ and 
passions is the general ideal of humanity ; but this appeaselnent 
earned further on and raised to the state of absolute insensi- 
bility is a peculiarity of the Hindu ideal. Philosophy has 
converted that into conceptual formulas, and the result may 
seem absurd, but “whosoever wishes to be a philosopher must 
learn not to be frightened by absurdities,” says a distinguished 
modern author.'^ Buddhism was not the only Indian system 
of philosophy to arrive at such a result: in the Vaishesika 
system the liberated soul is as inanimate as a stone (pasanavat), 
or as ether (akasavat), because cognition, feeling, etc., are not 
considered as of its essence, but as an accidental quality pro- 
duced by special contacts., which cease when final deliverance 
is reached.^®® The absolute is spiritual only in those systems 
which accept the doctrine that consciousness is of the essence 
of the absolute, i.e. the doctrine of self-luminosity (sva-prakasa) 
of knowledge.^®’' 

XTV. I'HEORY OF COGNITION 

The character of a philosophical system generally comes forth 

K., ii. i, 17, Tibetan text, p. 30, 5. 

^^Bertrand Russell, Problems of P/iilosopli^, p. 31. 

“*Cf. references in A. B. Keith’s Indian Logk^ p. 261 n. 

**^Clearly expi'essed by Bharmakirti in the celebrated verse : 
ox'ib'hago hi huddyatma 



XIV. THEORY Oi- COGxMTiOxN 


45 - 


\cry clear^' in its theory of cogniiion ; It enables us to assign 
it a place among either the realistic systems, maintaining the 
reality of the outer world, or among the idealistic ones, denying 
siicli reality. Among the Indian systems we find every variety 
of such theories represented. The N}aya-V"aishesika system 
favoured a naitely realistic view of a senes of real contacts — 
of the object with the sense-organ, of the latter with an 
internal organ, which in its turn entered into contact with 
the soul, and thus cognition was produced. The Buddhist 
idealistic school of Dignaga and Dharmakirti developed a 
transcendental theory which exhibited some striking points of 
similarity with the transcendental theor) of Kant. The 
Sankhya-Yoga system would explain the origin of knowledge 
through an assumed assimilation of the mind-stujE to the object 
through the medium of a sense-organ, compared with the attrac- 
lion of an object by a magnet. Even later Vedanta, notwith- 
standing its strictly monistic principle, managed to establish 
some kind of realistic view about “seizing” the object by the 
senses. What was, as compared with these views, the concep- 
tion of earlier Buddhism, that part of Buddhist philosophy 
which admitted the existence of elements (dharma) as ultimate 
realities, i.e. the Sarvastivadins and the Sautrantikas ? 

'J’heir explanation of the origin of knowledge was in per- 
fect Agreement with their ontology’, i.e. with the theory of a 
plurality of separate, though interdependent, elements (dharma)^ 
The phenomenon of knowledge was a compound phenomenon, 
resolvable into a number of elements simultaneously flashing 
into existence. Being conceived as momentary flashes, the 
elements could not move towards one another, could not come 
into contact, could not influence one another, there could be 
no “seizing” or “grasping” of the object by the intellect. BuK 
according to the laws of interconnexion (pratitya-samutpaday 
prevailing between them, some elements are invariably appear- 
ing accompanied by others arising in close contiguity with 
them. A moment of colour (rupc^, a moment of the sense-oT 
vision-matter {chaksuh), and a moment of pure consciousness 
(chiita), arising simultaneously in close contiguity, constitute 
what is called a sensation (sparsay^^ of colour. The element 
of consciousness according to the same laws never appears alone, 
but always supported by an object (visay^) and a receptive 
faculty (indriya)}'^'^ 

" ^^^Yoga Si/tra, x, 4, 7. 

^^^Veaanta-sara, 29. 

'^^'^Traycaiam aanmpatali sparsah. It is misleading to translate’ 
sparsjia by **contact*’, since it represents a chaitta-dharma, 

Chalcsitfi pratiya rupam c7ia cJiaJcsuT-vijnanam- utpadyate. Here- 



46 


THE CENTRAL CONCEPTION OF BUDDHISM 


A very important, though somewhat scholastic, question is 
then raised: how is it that, if these three separate elements— 
the element colour, the element visual sense, and the element 
.consciousness— merely appear, or Hash, together, without being 
appurtenances of some non-existing living being, without being 
able to influence one another, to "grasp”, apprehend, or come 
into contact with one another — how is it, then, that there, 
nevertheless, is an “apprehending'' of the object by the 
intellect? Wiry is it that the resulting knowledge is a cogni- 
tion "of colour”, and not a cognition of the visual sense, 
which is supposed to enter the combination on terms of 
equality with the other elements? The question about the 
relation between external (objective) and internal (subjective) 
element, and the "grasping' of the one by the other which 
was to have been evaded by the construction of a plurality 
of interdependent, but separate and equal, elements, reverts 
in another form. The answer is that, although there is no 
real coming in contact between elements, no grasping of the 
objective element by the intellect, nevertheless the three 
elements do not appear on terms of absolute equality ; there is 
between two of them — consciousness and object — a special 
relation which might be termed "co-ordination" (sarupya),'^"'^ 
a relation which makes it possible that the complex f^heno- 
menon — the resulting cognition — is a cognition of colour and 
not of the visual sense. 

Such an answer amounts, of course, to a a nfession of 
ignorance: this relation exists because it exists, it is required 
by the system, without this patchwork the system collapses. 
In all Indian — and, indeed, not only Indian — systems we alwavs 
reach a point which must be acquiesced in without any possible 
justification. It must be assumed, not liecause ir could be 
proved {na sadhayitum sakyam), but because there is no 

chaksur-vijnana is Hot a visual sensatipn — that would be s'parsa — ^but a 
pure sensation, arising accompanied by a moment of the visual-sense- 
matter. 

This same sarupya reappears in the transcendental system of 
Dignaga and Dharmakirti, as it would seem, in a different, but similar, 
role of a salvage in extremis. Dharmakirti establishes an absolute 
Teality, the thing in itself, the single moment of pure sensation {svddham 
pratyakBcm = hdpanapodh am- ~ svalahsanam =: hsana = paramarthasat) ; this 
single moment of reality is the transcendental (j7iaTena prapayitum na 
sakyate) reality underlying every representation with its complex of 
qualities, constructed by imagination [kdpand). There is a difficulty in 
suppljdng some explanation of how this quite idefinito moment of pure 
sensation combines with the definite construction of reason, and samp}^ 
steps in to save the situation. Its role is consequently similar to Kant’s 
schematism, that was intended to supply a bridge between pure sensation 
(reine ^ Sinnlichkeit) and leascn. Cf.' my Zogic according to later 
Buddhists, chap, on prnfyksha. About snrupya in Sankhya-Yoga see below. 



XIV. THEORY OF COGNITION 


47 


possibility^ of escape (avarjaniyataya), it is a postulate of the 
5 ) stem (siddlianta-prasiddham). 

In the Abhidharma-kosha we have the following account 
of the process of cognition:^'-' 

Question — We read in scriptuie, ‘‘Consciousness appre- 
Jiends/' What is consciousness here meant to do? 

Answer — Nothing at all. (It simply appears in co- 
ordination with its objective elements, like a result which is 
homogeneous with its cause.) Wlien a result appv^^ars in con- 
formity with its own cause it is doing nothing at all; but we 
say that it does conform with ir. Consciousness, likewise, 
appears in co-ordination (sarupya) with its objective elements. 
It is (properly speaking) doing nothing. Nevertheless, we 
say that consciousness does cognize its object. 

Question — What is meant by “co-ordination’' (between 
consciousness and its objective elements)? 

Answer — K conformity between them, the fact owing to 
which cognition, although caused (also) by the activity of the 
senses, is not something homogeneous with, them. It is said 
to cognize the object and not the senses. (It bears the 
reflection of the objective element which is its corollary.) 
And, again, the expression “consciousness apprehends” is not 
inadjgquate, inasmuch as here also a continuity of conscious 
moihents is the cause of every cognition. (“Consciousness 
apprehends” means that the previous moment is the cause of 
the following one.) The agent here also denotes simply the 
cause, just as in the current expression “the bell resounds” 
•{the bell is doing nothing, but connected with it every follow- 
ing moment of sound is produced by the previous one.) 
(We can give) another (illustration): consciousness apprehends 
similarly to the way in which a light moves. 

Question — And how does a light move? 

Answer— The light of a lamp is a common metaphorical 
designation for an uninterrupted production of a series of 
flashing flames. When this production changes its place, we 
^ay that the light has moved, (but in reality other flames have 
appeared in another place). Similarly, consciousness is a 
conventional name for a chain of conscious moments. When 
it changes its place (i.e. appears in co-ordination with another 
objective element) we say that it apprehends that object. And 
in the same way we are speaking about the existence of 
material elements. We say matter “is produced”, it exists, 
hut there is no difference between existence of an element 


K., ix; cf. Sovl Theory, pp. 937-8. 



48 THE CENTRAL CXDNCEPIION OF BUDDHISM 

and the element itself that does exist. Ihe same applies to 
consciousness, (tiiere is nothing that does cognize, apart from 
the evanescent flashings of conciousness itself). 

The question of the reality of an outer world is, strictly 
speaking, obviated. In a system which denies the existence 
of a personality, splits everything into a pluralin of separate 
elements, and admits of no real interaction between them, there 
is no possibility of distinguishing between an external and 
internal world. The latter does not exist, all elements are 
quite equally external towards one another. Nevertheless, the 
habit of distinguishing between internal and external, subjective 
and objective, could not be dropped altogether, and we meet 
with curious situations into which the philosopher is driven by 
logical deductions ; consciousness itself sometimes happens to be 
considered as an external element with regard to other elements. 
Such elements as ideas {sanjna), feelings {uedana), volitions 
(chetana), and all forces (samskara), are, as a rule, considered 
to be external elements. The AbhidharjJiakosha gives the 
following account of the question : 

Question — How many among the eighteen categories of 
elementary components (dhatu) of life are internal, how many 
external ? 

Anszuer — Internal arc twelve, (the remaining six) colour^ 
etc., are external. 

Question — Which are the twelve internal ones ? 

Answer — ^They are the six varieties of consciousness 
(sadvijnana-kayah), i.e. consciousness (1) visual, (2) auditory^ 
(5) olfactory', (4) gustatory, (5) tactile, (6) purely mental, and 
their six respective bases (ashraya) : the sense-organs of vision^ 
audition, smelling, tasting, touch, and consciousness itself, i.e.- 
its preceding moment (being the basic elements of the next 
moment) — are internal. The remaining six, comprising visi- 
bility-matter (sounds, smells, tastes, tangibles, and mental or 
abstract objects, e.g. ideas) are external. 

Question — ^How is it possible for the elements of existence 
to be internal or external, if the Self (or the personality) in 
regard to which they should be external or internal does not 
exist at all ? 

Answer — Consciousness is metaphorically called a Self, 
because it yields some support to the (erroneous) idea of a 
Self. Buddha himself uses such expressions. He sometimes 
mentions control of the Self, (sometimes control of conscious- 
ness) e.g. '"the wise man who has submitted his Self to strict 


i, 39. 



XIV. TIfEORV OF GOGiNlTlON 


49 


control, ^Qiigrates into heaven/' and (in another place) He 
says: '‘the control of one's consciousness is a weal, the control 
of coiisoiousness leads to bliss/' The sense of vision and other 
sense-organs are the basic elements for the corresponding 
sensations; consciousness, on the other hand, is the basic 
element for the perception of a Self. Therefore, as a conse- 
quence of this close connexion with consciousness, the sense- 
organs are brought under the head of internal elements. 

A very characteristic question is then raised, namely, that 
this definition of an internal element does not apply to 
consciousness itself. If to be internal means merely to be the 
basic element of consciousness, as the organ of vision e.g. is 
the basic element (acraya) for any visual consciousness, then, 
since consciousness could not be its own basis, it could neither 
be an internal element. The question is solved by stating 
that the preceding moment of consciousness is the basis for 
the following one, and since time is irrelevant in this definition^ 
consciousness must also be called internal. In any case, the 
dharmah or dharma-dhaiu, i.e. ideas and all mental phenomena 
and forces, are supposed to be external elements,^""’ that is a 
postulate of the system. 

The theory sketched above does not by any means prevent 
oui> using the expressions of common life with regard to an 
inter-action or contact between sense-organ and object. We 
meet even with the comparison of this contact to a clash of 
butting goats, but these expressions need not be taken literally. 
About the possibility of any real contact between the sense- 
organ and its object, wc find the following explanations.^*® 
The senses are divided into two sets according to their power 
of acting at a distance, or through contact only. The senses- 
of vision and audition apprehend their objects at a distance. 
For the eye a distance is even a necessary condition, because - 
e.g. a drop of medicine introduced into the eye cannot be seen 
by it. The three organs of smelling, tasting, and touch must 
be in immediate contact with the object. The question is then 
raised, how is contact possible if there is no movement, and it 


exact division of the eighteen dhatiis from tliis view-point- 
is in— (1) Six bases, acTCiya-satha, cal'suradi : organs of sense and con- 
sciousness [manali), otherwise called sad indriyani, or the six faculties. 
(2) Six ‘‘based’/ acrita-satica, caksur-vijnajiadi : five varieties of sensa- 
tion and intellectual consciousness {manO’^ripiaimY _ (3) 'Six cognized 
objects (alamhana-satha and visaya-sntha) : five varieties of sense objects 
and mental objects; they are, with regard to the second set, alurnua'HaSy. 
and risayas with regard to the indriyas. 

K.^ ad i, 43, Tibetan text, p. 82, 5 ff. 



^0 


IHL CENTRAL CONCEPTION OF BUDDHISM 


is answered that contact is oniy a name tor produci9n of two 
elements in immediate vicinity, llie question of contact 
between object and organ of sense afforOs an opportunity for 
debating the question ot contact between objects in general. 
The Vaibhaaikas maintain that when there is a contact, i.e, 
simultaneous production of two things in close \icinity, their 
vicinity is absolute, there is nothing between, but Vasubandhu 
objects that absolute vicinity is impossible for many reasons. 
He quotes the opinion, of two celebrated philosopheres, 
Vasumitra and Bhadanta; the hrst sa)s: “If the atoms of which 
the objects are composed could really come into contact, they 
would be existing during the next moment,” i.e. since every 
atom is but a momentary flashing, its coming into contact is 
impossible; the contact will be achieved by another atom 
appearing in the next moment. Bhadanta says: “There is no 
such thing as contact. Contact is only a name for the close 
vicinity (of two apparitions)”.^'^ 

With regard to matter (rupa), the AbhidJKiytwhkosha gives 
two different standpoints from which to condder its position 
as either external or internal. It is external if part of 
another's personality {samta7ia), his faculties or his objects, 
internal if part of my own personality, my faculties or my 
objects. Otherwise it may be distinguished according to^ the 
classification into “bases” {ayaiana) of cognition. As we imve 
seen, this classification divides everything according to the 
faculties by which it is perceived : the five scnse-oi'gans (iiidriya) 
are internal bases (adhyatmayatana) and the objective sense- 
data represent the external ones (hahyayalana)}'^^ 

Since there is no real difference of external and internal, 
the senses do not really play any part in perception; they are 
mere facts or elements that appear together with other elements 
according to laws of interconnexion. If we speak of the sense 
of vision as perceiving colour, this must not be taken literally. 
There is in the AbhidhaTma-kosha^'^"^ a long discussion about 
the relative parts of the two elements, of the visual sense and 
of consciousness, in the process of perception. First an idea- 
list opponent maintains that consciousness" alone produces 

^^‘Niraiiiara-viiiada, ibid, Tibetan text, p. 0. 

.45. K.^ i, .20. For the position in tlr- VnW ranon cf. Mrs. C. 

Rhys Davids, BiuldhiH P,v/rIioh)(fi/, p. 140 ff Tlio idea that external 

matter is the matter enteriiijsj into the scope of nnotiier per-son’s life may be 
traced in the Vlhlwtu/a, where exterior rupa is ‘'wiid be the interior f 

rupa of another person : ritpam hahidhfi ymn. rupou fpsaju paruHat- 

tanam f? parasam-fanmam) panipi/f/ymmimi, etc. Of. likewise Majihima, 

1 , 421 ff. (No. 2 Maharahulovadasutta). - 

K., i, 42, Tibetan te.xt, p. 77, 10 ff. 



XIV. THEORY OF COGNITION 


5i 


cognitiOil, the part of the senses is nil. This opinion is disposed 
of by pointing to the fact that consciousness does not apprehend 
objects behind a wall, w^hich it ought to have achieved if it 
were independent of the sense-organs. The San'astivadin 
then reviews several explanations of the difference between the 
parts of the sense-organ and consciousness in preception, “We 
find in Scripture”, he says, “the following statement” : 

“This, O Brahmin, is the organ of vision; it is a door 
through which to see colours and shapes.” This means that 
consciousness perceives (colours) through the organ of vision 
(which is comparable to a door). It, strictly speaking, means 
that when we use the verb “to see” we only indicate that there 
is an (open) door (for the consciousness to apprehend a colour). 
It is wrong to maintain that the organ of vision {chaksiih), 
“looks” (Pasyati), with* the result that it “sees”, (perception 
is produced only by the element of consciousness). 

Question, — If it is the element of consciousness that “sees”, 
who is it that becomes conscious (of the thing seen)? What is 
the difference between these two expressions, “to see a colour” 
and “to become conscious of the presence of a colour” ? 

Anszoer , — Although that (element) which produces consci- 
ousness cannot, strictly speaking, be supposed “to see”, never- 
both expressions are used indiscriminately: “he sees” 
and “he is conscious of”, just as with regard to understanding 
(prajna) we may equally use the expressions “he sees it” and 
“he understands it.” 

The Sarvastivadin then states that the elements of visual 
sense and consciousness do not exhibit any agency, they simply 
appear under certain conditions : the organ of sense and the 
object being present, consciousness arises, and the mere fact of 
its apparition is tantamount to a sensation of colour, just as 
the sun in arising produces the day ; it does nothing, but its 
appearance itself is the day. The Sautrantika adheres to the 
same opinion, and winds up with the remark : “What is the 
use of this quarrel about 'who sees' and ‘who is conscious’ ? It 
is like chewing empty space 1 A visual perception (sensation) 
is a fact, conditioned by two other facts, an organ of vision and 
some colour. Which is the agent ? What is the agency ? 
Useless questions ! There is nothing but the elementary facts 
( dharrnd'matram) appearing as cause and ejffect. In practice, 
according to the requirements of the case, we may use either 
the expression ‘the eye sees’ or ‘consciousness is being aware’. 
But we should not attach great importance to these expressions 

^^'’Ibid., Tibetan text, p. 78, 1111. 



52 


THE CENTRAL CONCEPTION OF BUDDHISM 


Buddha himself has declared, ‘do not stick to the ex^pressions 
used by common people, do not attach any importance to usual 
terms!’ ‘The eye sees, ‘the ear hears,’ ‘the nose smells,’ ‘the 
tongue tastes,’ ‘the body feels,’ ‘the intellect becomes conscious,’ 
the Kashmirian Vaibhasikas make use of these expressions 
(without taking them literally).”^ 

This sounds like an answer to the Sankhya philosophers. 
They maintained that the sense organ “sees,” but conscious- 
ness “is conscious.”^ The Mimamsakas adopted the same 
view in admitting an indistinct sense-perception (alochana) com- 
parable to the perceptions of a child and the clear \ision with 
participation by the understanding.^^^ The transcendental 
school of Dharmakirti denied the difference. It maintained 
that, distinct or indistinct, the fact of knowledge remained the 
same in its essence. 

There is no great disagreement between the Vaibhasikas 
(Sarvastivadins) and the Sautrantikas on the interpretation of 
the origin of cognition. It is in their opinion a complex 
phenomenon in which several elements participate, inter- 
connected, but separate, with ihe essential presence of the cle- 
ment of consciousness among them.^®" 

In the light of this theory of cognition it is surprising to 
see the family-likeness which reveals itself between the conscit-ms- 
ness {chit, purusa) of the Sankhyas and its Buddhist counterpart 
(vijna7ia). Both are absolutely inactive, without any content, a 
knowledge without an object, a knowledge “of nothing,’’ pure 
sensation, mere awareness, a substance without either qualities 
or movements. Being the pure light of knowledge it “stands 
by” the phenomena, illuminates them, reflects them, without 
grasping them or being affected by them.^®^^ The only differ- 
ence is that in Sankhya it represents an eternal principle, 
whereas in Buddhism momentary light-flashes appearing at the 
time when certain other elements arc present.^®’' The order 
which it occupies among the Buddhist groups (skandhns) of 

K.f i, 42, Tibetan text, p. 79, 18. 

^®=Garbe, Sankhya Philosophie, 2nd ed., pp. 319 326. 

^^^Clokavartika, Pratyaksasutra, 

^^^Nyayahlndut., p. 4 ff. 

information about the Sautrantika theory of coiinition, con- 
tained in the Sarva-darshana-sangralia and similar works (haliyarthanv- 
Tneyatva), reposes on a confusion by Brahmanical authors between 
Sautrantika and Vijnana-vada, not seldom to be met with. 

^®°Garbe, op. cit., pp. 358 ff. 

Sankhya-karlha^ ^ 64, which has given an opportunity to impute to 
the system^ the negation of a soul, only proves that the conscious prin- 
ciple deprived of any characteristic or content, represents in Sankhya 
nothing else than pure sensation, or pure consciousness. Cf Garbe op. 
cit., p. 364. ^ 



XIV. THEORY OF COGNITION 


53 

dements is likewise suggestive. It is not induded in the 
mental groups. It has a place of its own just at the end of the 
list, similar to the position occupied by it as the twenty-fifth 
principle of Sankhya.^*^® In order to avoid the difficulty involv- 
ed in lire idea of one element ‘‘grasping” the other, it is 
imagined that there is the mere fact of them being near one 
another.^ Whatsoever that may mean in Yoga, in Buddhism 
it refers to interconnected flashings into existence of two ele- 
ments. Their relation of subject and object, nevertheless, 
remains unexplained, and this fact is christened by the name 
of “co-ordination’' (sampya). We meet the same deus ex 
mahijia perfonning an analogous task in both systems; subject 
and object stand aloof from one another, yet they are “co- 
ordinated.^ 

It can hardly be doubted that the emphatic denial of any 
difference between consciousness, mind, and intellect^ in 
Buddhism is likewise a direct reply to the Sankhya system, 
where we find such a gap betrveeri consciousness and mind, 
and the latter then divided into the threefold internal organ. 

The doctrine of identity between consciousness and an 
internal organ of knowledge is characteristic for Buddhism 
from its very beginning. It is, in fact, another manner of 
expressing the denial of a soul and is the direct consequence of 
it/being replaced by separate elements. We find it clearly 
stated in the oldest texts. It probably was, at the time, a 
new doctrine, intended to replace an older one. The pre- 
Buddhistic use of the terms is clearly discernible in the Pali 
texts. One or the other of these synonymous terms is used with 
preference in certain contexts.^ As an organ (indriya, 
ayatana No. 6) and as a common resort (pratisarana) for the 
sense-organs, the tenn “mind^^ (manah) is preferred ; conscious- 
ness purely mental, non-sensuous, is called manovijnana 
(dhatu No. 18), i.e. consciousness arising, not from an organ of 
sense, but from consciousness itself, from its preceding moment, 
when the preceding moment takes the place of a support 
(acraya) or an organ {indriya), for a non-sensuous idea. These 

About the order in which the skandhas stand we find a great many 
speculations in Ah, K., i, 22; cf. Mrs. C, Rhys Davids, B, Psycho., p. 54. 

^®Wyasa, ad i, 4; ii, 23. 

loopj^of. J. H. Woods translates “correlation, which is much the 
same (op. cit., p. 14. 160 ff.). 

Z., ii, 34; Mrs. 0. Rhys Davids, B, Psych., p. 66. 

^^-Snmyvtta, ii, 94 ; i. 266 

^”®Mrs. C. Rhys Davids, op, cit,, pp. 17 ff., has with very fine dis- 
crimination traced the different shades of meaning conveyed in the Pali 
canonical texts by these terms, which are emphatically declared to be 
synonymous. 



54 


THK CENTRAI. CONCEPTION OF BUDDHISM 


distinctions are mere traces of older habits of thought. The 
philosophical atmosphere in the time of Buddha was in all 
probability saturated with Sankhya ideas. Buddhism cannot 
be fully understood if these connexions are not taken into 
account. 

XV. PRE-BUDDHAIC BUDDHISM 
Can the theory sketched above be characterized as a system of 
realism.^ It is certainly not the naive realism of Nya}a- 
Vaishesika. For the Brahraanical writers it was realism 
(hahyarthasLitvd) because it was dih’erent from the later, more 
definite, idealism. But the dilfercnce between Sanmiivada and 
Vijhanavada consists rather in that the former is pluralistic 
and the latter converts all elements into aspects of one store- 
consciousness (alaya-vijnana). The whole system of elements is 
retained with slight vaiiations. Professor O. Rosenberg is 
inclined to conclude that in theory of cognition the Buddhists 
were idealists from the beginning, but they were realists so far 
as they accepted the real existence of a tiansccndental absolute 
reality.^'^* ^ It has, in any case, a position of its own, \ery far 
from ordinary realism, resembling perhaps some mrdern 
theories which accept the reality of external as well as internal 
facts and a certain “co-ordination” between them, without the 
one “grasping’' the other. The cinemaiographic rcpreserV:a- 
tion of the world and the converting of all the facts of the inner 
and outer world composing an individual stream of life into a 
complex play of interconnected momentary flashes, is anything 
but realism. The world is a mirage. The reality underlying it is 
beyond our cognition. Nagarjuna gave the right explanation 
in calling it an empty {shumya) illusion {muya). Prof. O. 
Rosenberg insists upon the illusionistic tendency of Buddhism 
from the very outset. Even for Buddhaghosa not only outer 
objects, but men were nothing but puppets trying to deceive 
us as to their reality. That Sankara established his 
illusionistic doctrine of Vedanta under Buddhist influence is at 
present more or less generally accepted. But we must make 
the difference between the radical illusionism of Sankara and 
Nagarjuna and the half-way illusionism of primitive Buddhism, 

cit., chap. viii. 

^°®0p, cit., chaps, iv, viii, and xviii. 

^^WisuddJii-magga^^ xi, Warren, Buddhism, p. 158. Mrs. C. Hhys 
Davids, op. cit., denies in primitive Buddhism both illusionism (p. 65) 
and idealism (p. 75). When the root of phenomenal existence is declared 
to be illusion [aridi/a), apd the process of life is “empty with a tw'elve- 
fold emptiness” {Visuddhi-MI.f xvii, Warren, op. cit., p. 175), it is difficult 
to deny illusionism altogether. As to the different interpretations of 
illusion cf. S. Dasgupta, History, p. 584. Professor O. Rosenberg’s chief 



XV. PRE-BUDDHAlC BUDDHISM 


The visible world was, as \'aciraspatimisra^‘’" says with refer- 
ence to i5ankh}a-Yoga, similar to an illusion, but not exactly 
an illusion (niayeva na tu may a). The position of the Sankhya,. 
accepting the transcendental elements i^guaas) as the only 
reality, was just the same. 

Whether the anattna-dharma theory was the personal crea- 
tion of Sakyamuni Buddha himself, or not, is a quite irrelevant 
question. In any case, we do not know ot an} form of Buddhism 
without this doctrine and its corrollary classifications of elements 
into skandha, ayaiana, and dJiatu, the laws or ilieir inter- 
connexion {pratlya-^amutpada), and the complicated construc- 
tions w^hich these termini involve. This is also, as Professor 
O. Rosenberg rightly remarks, the common foundation of all 
the forms of Buddhism in all the countries where this religion 
nourishes at present. Failing to realize that, some superheial 
observers concluded that in the northern countries Buddhism 
was “degenerate” and altogether a different religion. It is a 
salient feature of Indian philosophy that its history splits into 
several independent lines of development which run parallel 
from an early beginning down tO' modern times. Each develop- 
ment has its own fundamental idea to start with, and the 
development makes every effort to keep faithful to the start. 
Thus we have the realism (arambha-vada) of the Vaishesika,. 
the^ pluralism (sanghaia-vada) of Buddhism, the evolutionism 
{pannama-vada) of Sankhya-Yoga, and- the illusicnism (vWarta- 
vada) of Vedanta running in parallel lines of development 
from the remotest antiquity, each with its own ontology, its 
own theory of causation, its own theory of cognition, its own 
idea of salvation, and its own idea of the origin of the limita- 
tions {avidya) of our experience. 

We know of celebrated philosophers who have been 
engaged in more than one line, but the lines were always kept 
separate. In Buddhism the development began in the discus- 
sions of the early Hinayana schools. The Sarvastivadins estab- 
lished a catalogue of seventy-five elements. The Sautrantikas 
excluded a number of them as mere names; the Madhyamikas 
viewed all of them as contingent (sunya) upon one another, 

argument in favour of idealism was drawn from the fact that the objects 
of the outer world were components of one mmtana, i.e. internal to the 
personality. But, considering that in primitive Buddhism ail elements 
are equally external to one another and savttana is not a reality, not a 
dharnia^ there is no idealism in the later sense. The interpretation 
admitted by Mrs. Rhys Davids, p. 75, namely, that “the microcosm (i.e. 
pudgalu) apprehended the macrocosm by way of its sense-doors,” looks, 
dangerously like aatkayadrati ! 
iv, 13. 



56 


IHE CEiNTRAL CONCErilON OF BUDDHISM 


and therefore declared the world to be a a illusion; the 
Vijnanavadins converted them into ideas, aspects of ^one store 
consciousness (alaya-vijnana), but the pluralistic fundamental 
idea remained; its idealistic and illusionistic tendency, which 
was clear from the beginning, was elaborately worked out by 
later scholars. 

The possibility is not precluded that the foundation stone 
of the anaima-dharma theory was laid before Buddha. Just 
as Mahavira was not the first to proclaim Jainism, but only 
adopted and gave lustre to a doctrine which existed before 
him, just SO Buddha may have adopted and spread a doctrine 
which he found somewhere in that philosophical laboratory 
which was the India of his time. He, indeed, is reported to 
have emphatically disowned the authorship of a new teaching, 
but claimed to be the follower of a doctrine established long 
ago by former Buddhas. This is usually interpreted as a kind 
of propaganda device, but it is not quite improbable that a 
real historical fact underlies these assertions. 

Among that oldest set of Upaiiisads which for man} reasons 
are generally admitted to be pre-Buddhistic, but display some 
knowledge of the Sankhya system, we find, along with Sankhya 
conceptions, a statement that might be an indication of the 
existence of such a pre-Buddhistic form of the anatma<Viariiia 
theory. In the Kathakopanisad, which belongs to this cla?s, a 
doctrine is mentioned that is evidently strongly opposed to the 
monistic view of an immortal soul {aim, an), and favours instead 
a theory of separate elements (piihag-dharman pasyaii). This 
theory is repudiated with the following remark: “Just as rain- 
water that has fallen down in a desert is scattered and lost 
among the undulations of the ground, just so is (a philosopher) 
who maintains the existence of separate elements lost in run- 
ning after nothing else but these (separate elements).” 

Professor H. Jacobi has shown that unorthodox opinions, 
opposed to the accepted soul-theory, arc alluded to even in the 
oldest set of the Upanisads.^^^ These indications are made in 
the usual Upanisad style and anything but precise. 

What emerges from the passage of the Kafhaka cited above 
is that there was a doctrine opposed to the reigning soul-theory, 
that it maintained the existence of subtle elements and separate 
elements (p'f'thag dharma), and that such a doctrine, in the 
opinion of the author, did not lead to salvation. Sankara, in 

^^^Kathakop., iv, 14; cf. Mrs. and Professor W. Geiger, op. cit., p. ' 
0. In another passage of the same text (i, 21) dharma apparently also 
means an element, but a suitable and immortal one. 

“®Ernst Kuhn memorial volume (Munich, 1916), p. 38. 



XV. PRJi-BUDDHAlC BUDDHISM 


57 


his cominenLary, agrees that Buddhism is alluded to, but, very 
bluntly, he interprets dharma as meaning here individual 
soulv^^ As a matter of fact, dharma never occurs with this 
meaning in the Upanisads. Its occurrence in the Kathaka 
leaves the impression that it is a catchword, referring to a 
foreign and new doctrine, some anaima-dharma theory.-^^ 

Brofessor Jacobi, in a recent work, arrives at the conclu- 
sion that at the epoch of which the Kathaka is the most cha- 
racteristic exponent the theory of an immortal individual soul 
was a new idea which, in all probability, enjo}ed great 
popularity as a novelty and met wdth general approval. There 
IS, indeed, a wide gap between this class of Upanisads and the 
older set, a difference in style, terminology, and the whole 
intellectual atmosphere. The idea of a surviving personality, 
of a Self and even a Universal Self, is not unknown in the 
Veda: its essence and its relation to Brahma is the main topic 
of discussion in the Upanisads. But this self is a psycho- 
physical entity, different explanations of its nature are proposed, 
and mcterialistic views are not excluded. The idea of an im- 
mortal soul in our sense, a spiritual monad, a simple, un- 

composite, eternal, immaterial substance is quite unknown in 
the Veda, inclusive of the older Upanisads. The new concep- 
tion^ w^as accepted by the Jains, the Sankh}as, Mimamsakas, 

-‘'“In his commentary on the Oaiidapada Karilca, where the term 
dharma occairs, very clearly in the sense the Madhyamiha interpretation 
has given it, namely as something unreal, a mere illusion, the real or the 
pseudo-Sankara likewise enforces the meaning of an individual soul. 

-“’There are no traces of the Buddhist meaning of dharma having 
been known to Panini, but there are some traces with regard to its 

corollary, the term sanukara or sani-^hTfa. When causation is to be 
expressed, he makes a difference bet-ween real efficiency, i.e. one fact 
transgressing its own existence and affecting the other, which he calls 
'pratiyatna, explajned as gunanfaradhana (the same as aticayadhanOi 
'paraiiparopakara^ or simply ujinkara)^ and an efficiency which is contrasted 
with it and conceived as two separate facts conditioning one another 
which he simply calls samskrta] it is explained as utharsadhanam 

sanii^karah, i.e. “a force is what produces (= conditions) an enhancement 
in (some) existent.” In the first case, ypaJerta or upasJerta is used, in the 

second j^amshrta, cf. ii, 3, 53; vi, i, 139; iv, 2, 16; iv, 4, 3: cf., the 

Kacika. That the two paribhasas, gunantaradhanam and sata utharsa- 
dlianarn sa^uAharah , refer to the Sankhya and Buddhist views respectively 
is probable. In later literatuj’c the difference betw^een ypahara and simple 
sanishara is fj-oquently i^eferred to, cf. Nyayahindutiha^ ed. Peterson (Bibl. 

Ind.), p. 13 : dirid/iar ca sahakari paraspaTopakd.n : cf. Six 

Buddhist Nyaya 7’racts, p, 48 ff., Sarradarshana sangraha^ p. 10 {Bihh 
Ind.) : sahakarinah him’ hharasya ypakvrvanti na ra. That the philo- 
sophical conceptions involved in this difference were known to Panini 
would appear from the suggestive word pratiyaina—upakara, as opposed 
to samskara, but this is by no means certain. The conception of gunantara- 
yoga=z rikara is mentioned in M. hhasya, ad v. 1, 2. A similar contrast 
lies in arf 7/ versus 'pratifya-samutpada, cf, Bh. jala-sutta. 

Die. indiscTie Philosophie in Das Licht des Ostens (Stuttgart, 1922). 



58 


THE CENTRAL CONCEPTION OF BUDDHISM 


and later by all philosophical systems except the Mi^iterialists 
and the Buddhists. In the Sankhya the old theory survived, 
in the shape of the linga-sha) ira, along with the adoption of 
the new. 

The attitude of Buddhism towards both the old and 
the new theories was that of a most emphatic denial. Scholars 
were always struck by the spirit of extreme animosity which 
undoubtedly reveals itself in the oldest Buddhist texts when- 
ever the idea of a soul is mentioned. In the light of Professor 
Jacobi’s hypothesis this may find a natural explanation in the 
feeling of excitement with which the new theory was met and 
assailed by its chief opponents, for which mere theoritical con- 
siderations of abstract argument seem insufficient tO' account. 
In Buddhist records we find the old and the new soul- theories 
clearly distinguished. The doctrine which maintains the 
reality of a Self corresponding to the psycho-physical individual 
is called atrna-vada, whereas the -sieiv approaching the doctrine 
of a permanent Soul is pudgala-vada. All Buddhists rejected 
the atma-vada_ since Buddhism {buddhanurasani), philo- 
sophically, means nothing else than the dharmaia, the theory 
cf dharmas, which is but another name for analman, nairaimya. 
But there are two schools^ — the Vatsipiitriyas and the Sara- 
mitiyas— which are, nevertheless, adherents of the piidgala^iada. 
According to the exposition of Vasubandhu, this means that 
the intevnal skandhas at a given moment constitute a certain 
unity, which is related to them as fire to fuel.-^'’ It had not 
the absolute reality of a dharma, it was not included in the 
lists of dharmas, but, nevertheless, it was not quite unreal. 
This pud gala was also regarded as surviving, since it is main- 
tained that it assumes new elements at birth and thx^ows them 
off at death.^®*^ 

The pudgala of a Buddha seems to be an Omniscient 
Eternal Spirit.-®^ The sutra of the burden-bearer, where 
pudgala is compared with the bearer and the skandhas with 
the burden, was invoked as a proof that Buddha himself 
admitted some reality of the pudgala?^^^ For all the other 
Buddhist schools pudgala was but another name for atman, and 
they refuted both theories by the same arguments. That the 
position of the Vatsipiitriyas was wrong i.e. not in strict con- 


SovJ Theory, p. 830. 

Ibid., p. 851. 

Ibid., p. 841. 

Ibid., p, 842. Udyotakara, in bia exposition of atma-rada 
(pp. 338-49), likewise mentions this sutra as contradicting the doctrine of 
amtman. 



XV. PRE-BUL)nHAlC BUDDHISM 


59 


fonnity with he dharma-thtory, is evident, since this theory 
admits no real unity whatsoever between separate elements. 
Therelore Self. Soul, personality, individual, living being,, 
human being — all these conceptions do not answer to ultimate 
realities: they are but names for some combinations of dhminas, 
i.e. formulas of elements,-"" If our supposition that the anaima- 
dha^'ina theory is mentioned in the Kuihakopanisad is correct, 
it evidently was directed against both the old and the new 
Soul-theories as equally unacceptable. But, on the other hand, 
the tenacious effort of some Buddhist schools to save the idea 
of some real unity between the elements of a personal life,^'^^ 
or the idea of a spiritual principle goveniing it, is partly due 
to the difficulty of the problem and parity to an old tradition. 
We hnd, indeed, in the Brahmanas and the Upanisads some- 
thing like a forerunner of the Buddhist skandJms. The indi- 
vidual is also composed of element*: during his lifetime they 
are united; the union ceases at death, and through a reunion of 
them a new life begins.-**" (airiously enough, the number of 
these elements, or factors, as Professor Jacobi prefers to translate 
the term prana, is the .vnne as the number of the Btidclhist 
skandhas. 

The elements themselves are quite different, and this 
differaicc bears witness of the enormous progress achieved 
by Indian philosophy during the time between the primitive 
Upanisads and the rise of Buddhism, In the Buddhist syttem 
we have a division of mental faculties into feeling, concept, 
will, and pure sensation, in which modern psychology would 
not have much to change. In the Upanisads it is a very primi- 
tive attempt, giving breath, speech, sense of vision, sense of 
audition and intellect as the elements. But one point of 
similarity remains: the last and, evidently, the most important 
element is in both cases manas. The raakrocosm, or the' 
Universal Soul, is likewise analysed by the Upanisads into live 
component elements.-^" In the number of the Buddhist 
skandhas and in the position of manas {=ivijhana) among 
them we probably have the survival of an old tradition.^^^ 

"""^Ibid., p. 838. 

The Sarvastivadins explained the union of the elements in a 
personality by the operation of a special force {aainslcara), which they 
named prajiti ; cf. above, and in the tables of elements in the Appendix II, 
where it is found under riprat/ul'fa-smn&l'ara No. 1. 

H. Jacobi, op. cit,, p. 146. Cf. H. Oldenberg. Die Weltamchainni^ 
der Brail mat! a-Teste, pp. 88, ff., 234. 

Jacobi, op. cit., p. 146, Cf. H. Oldenberg, Die. Lehre der 
Upanishaden, p. 54. 

A similar relation, as is generally admitted, exists between the^ 



60 


THE CENTRAL CONCEPTION OF BUDDHISM 


It is only by such an indirect influence that we can explain 
the astonishing fact of the dmultaneous existence of different 
classifications of the elements for which there is no intrinsic 
requirement in the system. When the analma-cViarma theory 
was definitely framed, with its theory of causation and theory 
of coenition, the classification of elements into “bases’’ of 
cognition (ayatana) became quite natural and indispensable, 
but the classification into skandhas was useless. It, neverthe- 
less, was retained in compliance with an old habit of thought, 
and such changes as were required by the progress of philo- 
sophic analysis were introduced. 

Thus it is that the fundamental idea of Buddhism — a 
plurality of separate elements without real unity — had its roots 
in the primitive speculations of the Upanisads. At the time 
when a new conception of the Soul was elaborated in 
Brahmanical circles, some kind of the pre-Buddhaic Buddhism, 
under which we understand the anaima-dharina theory, must 
have been already in existence. This time is the epoch of the 
Kathakopanisad, which, as Professor Jacobi points out,^^^ 
might also be the time of prc-Jinistic Jainism, the time of 
Parevanatha, i.e. the eighth century B.C. 

XVI. SUMMARY 

To summarize : 

The conception of a dharma is the central point of the Buddhist 
doctrine. In the light of this conception Buddhism discloses 
itself as a metaphysical theory developed out of one funda- 
mental principle, viz. the idea that existence is an interplay 
of a plurality of subtle, ultimate, not further analysable 
■elements of Matter, Mind, and Forces. These elements are 
technically called dharmas, a meaning which this word has in 
this system alone. Buddhism, accordingly, can be characterized 
as a system of Radical Pluralism (sanghata-vaday ^^ : the ele- 
ments alone are realities, every combination of them is a mere 
name covering a plurality of separate elements. The moral 
teaching of a path towards Final Deliverance is not something 
additional or extraneous to this ontological doctrine, it is most 
intimately connected with it and, in fact, identical with it. 


three elements tp.jas, apas, amiavt of the Chandogya^ vi, and the three 
gmia.^ of the Sankhyas. 

Op. cit., p. 150. 

As contrasted with the arambha-vada, which maintains the reality 
•of the whole as well as of the elements, and the parinama-vadaj which 
ascribes absolute reality only to the whole. 



XVL SUMMARY 


61 


Ilic connoLaLion of the term dharma implies that 

1. Every clemeuL is a separate {prthak) entity or iorce. 

There is no inherence o[ one element in anotheiv 
hence no substance apart from its tjualities, no Matter be\ond 
the separate sense-data, and no Soul beyond the separate 
mental data {dhaynm — anal man -■ nit jiva). 

S. Elements have no duration, every moment represents 
a separate element ; thought is evanescent, there are no moving 
bodies, but consecutive appearances, flashings, of new elements 
in new places (ksanikalva). 

4. The elements co-operate with one another {mmskrta), 

5. This co-operating activity is controlled by the laws of 
causa tion (pra t i tya-sa m u t pada ) . 

6. The world-process is thus a process of co-operation 
between sevcnt\-two kinds of subtle, evanescent elements, and 
such is the nature of dharmas that they proceed from causes 
petu-prabhava) and steer towards extinction {nirodha). 

7. Influenced \sasrava) by the element avidya, the process 
is in lull swing. Influenced by ihe element prajna, it has a 
tendency towards appeasement and final extinction. In the 
first case streams (santana) of combining elements are produced 
which correspond to ordinary men (prthag-jana ) ; in the second 
the stfeam represents a saint (ajja). The complete stoppage of 
the process of phenomenal life corresponds to a Buddha. 

8. ‘ Hence the elements arc broadly divided into unrest 
(duhkha), cause of unrest {duhkha-samuday a — avidya), extinc- 
tion [nirodha), and cause of extinction {margaz=zprajna). 

9. The final result of the world-process is its Suppression- 
Absolute Calm : all co-operation is extinct and replaced by 
immutability (ammskrta = nirvana). 

Since all these particular doctrines are logically developed 
out of one fundamental principle, Buddhism can be resolved 
in a series of equations : 

dharmata ~ jmiratmya = ksariikatva-^ .samskrtatva = pratitya- 
samutpannatva = sasrava-anasravatva z= sa7nkleca-vyavada7iatva 
= duhkha-nnodha =: samsaTa-nirvana. 

But, although the conception of an element of existence 
has given rise to an imposing superstructure in the shape of a 
consistent system of philosophy, its inmost nature remains a 
riddle. What is dharma ? It is inconceivable 1 It is subtle ! 
No one will ever be able to tell what its real nature (dharma- 
svabhava) is ! It is transcendental ! 



APPENDIX I 


X’asubandhu On The Fundamental Principle 
Of The Sarvastix ada School 

The fifth chapter {kosha-sihana) ol the Abhidhanna-kosha 
(v, 24-6) ccntains a detailed exposition of the argument between 
the Sar\ asti\ ad::i: or Vaibhasikas and the Sautrantikas upon 
the que.]Lion of the reality of future and past elements 
[dhavmas), written according to the method of later dialectics. 
It is di\ided in two parts, purvapaksa and ultarapaksa. In the 
first the Vaibhasika makes a statement of his case, and he is 
attacked bv the Sautrantika ; he answers the questions and 
triumphs over the opponent. In the second the parts are 
reversed: the Vaibhasika puts the questions and the Sautrantika 
answers them and secures the final victor). As a conclusion 
the Vaibhasika gives voice to his despair at the impossibility of 
concei\’ing the transcendentally deep essence of the elements 
of existence. The translation is> made from the Tibetan text 
of the Peking edition of the Bstanhgvur, Mdo, vol. 64, fob 279, 
b. 5-285, a. 2. Some explanations have been intro'duced from 
Yashoinitra’s Commcntar), and the Tibetan commentary of 
Mchims-pa, wijich is the standard work for ablndharma 
throughout Mongolia and Tibet. *'* 

AN EPISODICAL INVESTIGATION INTO THE 
POSSIBILITY OF PAST AND FDTURE EFFICIENCY 

(AbhidhaTma-kosha, Karikas V, 24-6) 

(The author establishes that some passions exist only at the 
time when the corresponding objects are present, tuch are love 
or disgust towards sense-objects. But there are other passions 
of a general scope, such as preconceived dogmatical ideas, delu- 
sions, a doubting turn of mind. etc. ; these have a bearing 
towards all objects whether past, present or future. The 
following question is then raised), 

Bstan-hgvur. 64, f. 279, b. 5. 

But are this past and thi> lu lure really existent or not ? If 
they are, it would follow tha! the elementary forces {samskara) 
(which are active in the pio^ . s^ of life) must be permanent 
(i.e. immovable), since they i- ' : 'hrough all time. If they are 
not, how is it to be cxplah' that a man is attracted to 
(objects past and future) by h (passion as he experienced 
formerly, or will be subjcf i u * ' Yiture) ? 



VASUBANDHU ON SARVASTl VADA 


6S 


The Jknbhasikas do nor admit those elements (which com- 
bine in the process of life) to be permanent, since they are 
subject (to the action of four energies which are) the character- 
istic appui tenance of such elements (zf z. the forces of orioina- 
tion, dcca\ , existence, and destiuction). But, on the other 
hand, the^ cmphaticalh declare that * the times'^ (i.e. everyone* 
of the three times) arc existent in reality. 

The Sauiranlika aTs, for what reason ? 

(Part I — The case for Ei'erlastiug Elements) 

Karika, V, 24. 

The Vaibhasika answers : The times are alwavs existent 
(1) because this has been declared in Scripture, (2) because of 
the double (cause of perception), (S) because of the existence 
of the perception’s object, (4) because of the production of a 
result (h\ previous deeds). Since we maintain that all this 
exists, we profess the theory that everything exists (Sarvasti- 
vacla). 

279^ b. 7. 

Yaschom 

(1) Because this has been declared in Scripture. Our 

Sublime Lord has declared : (“the elements of matter, O 
Brethren, the jxist and the future ones, are impermanent, not 
to S}x:ak of the present ones. This is perceived by the perfect 
saint, endowed, as he is, with wisdom. Therefrre, he i ‘3 regard- 
less of past sense-objects, he does not rejoice at future enjoy- 
ments, he entertains disgust and avenion in regard to the 
present ones, he is engaged in keeping them off). 

279, b. 7. 

O Brethren I if some kind of past matter did not exist, 
the perfect saint endowed with wisdom could not be regard- 
less of past sense-objects, but, since they are existent, he 
(enjoys the privilege of) disregarding them. If some kind of 
future matter were not existent, the wise and perfect saint 
could not be free from rejoicing at future enjoyments (since 
his independence would have no object). But future sense- 
objects do exist, etc.” 

2<W, a. 2 

(2) Because of the double (cause of perception) It is 

declared in Scripture : * ^consciousness, when operating, is 
conditioned by (elements) of a double kind.” What are they ? 
The sense of vision and colour (for a visual consciousness), and 
so on (an organ of perception and its respective object for each 



64 


THE CENTRAL CONCEPTION OF BUDDHISM 


of the six kinds of consciousness, the last being) the intellect 
itself and its non-sensuous objects/ (for consciousness purelv 
mental). 

Thus these first two reasons for admitting the existence ol 
the past and the future are taken from Scripture, but there ate 
others, too, which are founded on argument. 

2S0, CL 4 

(j) Be^cause of the existence of an ohjecl . — If there is an 
object, its cognition can arise ; if there is none, neither can its 
cognition be produced. If the past and the future were not 
existent, the objects (of the corresponding cognition) would be 
non-existent, and, as non-existent, they could not be cognized. 

Yacom 

(4) Because of the production of a result (by former 
deeds ). — If the past did not exist, how could a deed, good or 
bad, attain, after some lapse of time, its fruition, since, at the 
time when the latter appears, the cause which has produced 
retribution is gone. (A former deed, good or bad, does exist in 
reality, because, when it becomes ripe, it produces fruition, just 
as a present one does). 

2S0, a. 6 

For these reasons we Vaihhasikas maintain that the past 
and the future necessarily exist. This leads to the theory that 
everything is existent, and our school is known by emphatically 
adhering to the principle of such universal existence (Sarvasti- 
vada). Accordingly (it is said above in the moemonic verse) : 
“since we maintain that all this exists, we profess the theory 
that everything exists.’’ Those who maintain that everything, 
past, future and present, exists are advocates of universal 
existence (Sarvastivadins). On the other hand, those who make 
a distinction, partly admitting and partly denying this theory, 
are termed the Distinguishing School (Vibhajyavadms). They 
maintain that the present elements, and those among the past 
that have not yet produced their fruitions, are existent, but 
they deny the existence of the future ones and of those among 
the past that have already produced fruition.^ 

280, h, 2. 

Saiiirantika . — And how many branches are there among 
these advocates of universal existence ? 


^Manah and dharmah, 
-Cf. above. 



VASUBANDHU ON SARVASTIVADA 


65 


Vaibhasika—Thcxc are four branches, inasmuch as they 
maintain (1) a change of existence (blidvd-parinania), (9) ^ 
change of aspect (l(iksa>in-parinain(,), (3) a change of condition 
(avastha-parinama), or (4) contingency iapeksa-parinama). The 
third is all right. The dilTcrcnce iti time reposes on a diflerence 
of condition (i.e. function of tlu; elements). 

280, h. 1. 

( 1 ) It wa.s the venerable Dliarmalrala who maintained 
the view that cxislence (hluivii) changes in he course of time, 
not subsiancc pi) tioydp lie i.s known tc) ha\c been argniuo' 
thus : w'hcn an element enters dillcrciu times, its existence 
changes, but not its cs.scncc, just as when a golden vessel is 
broken, its form changes, but not its colour. And w-hen milk 
is turned into curds, its taste, consistency, and digestive ralue 
are gone, but not it,s colour." In the .same manner, when an 
element, after having been future, enters into a present time, 
it gets rid of it.s future existence, but not of the existence of 
its essence, and when from irrescnl it becomes past, it casts 
away its present existence, but not the existence of its substance. 

280, l>. 8. 

(2) It was the venerable Ghosa who assumed a change in 
the^spect of the cletnenls (/«/;, s/o;,/). He is known to have 
professed the theory that, when tui element ap[)ears at dilTcrcnt 
times, the past one rcttitns its past tispect, without being severed 
from its future and present as})ects, the future litis its future 
aspect, without being altogether deprived of its past and 
present aspects, the prestmt likewise retains its prersent aspect, 
without completely lo.sing its ptist and future aspects. Just as, 
when a man falls into pa.ssionae love with a female, he is not 
altogether deprived of his capacity of love towards other 
females (but this capacity is not ]rroininent). 

281, «. J. 

Yaco.m 

(3) A change of condition (utv/V/tn) is advocated by the 
venerable Va.stunttra. He is known to htivc maintained that, 
when one element nnniifests itself at diliereni times, it, changes 
in" condition and receives dilierent desigmitinns jiccording to 
the condition which it has readutd, wilhottt changing in 
substance. (Wlitin an element is in a eondition in which it does 

- hot yet proeltice its ftinetion, it is called (utnre ; when it 

- ‘Or, if nipa atands for srurM/w, "its o«»eneo." 

"5 ■ 



66 


TFIE CENTR.-VL CONCEPTION OF BUDDHISM 


produces it, it is called present; ivhen, having produced it, it 
ceases to work, it is past, its substance remaining ^the same). 
Just as in an abacus the same ball receives different significa- 
tions according to the place it is thrown in. If it is thrown in 
the place for units it means one, if in the tor hundreds it means 
a hundred, if in the place for thousands it means one thousand. 

28h a- 3 . 

Yacom 

{4) An advocate of contingency {apeksa) is the venerable 
Euddhadeva. He is known to have maintained the principle 
that an element in the course of time receives this or that 
denomination on account of its relation to the former and 
the next moment. (An element is future with respect to 
the former one, be it past or present, it is present with respect 
to a former, i.e. past one, or with respect to the next one, 
i.e. future one, it is past with respect to the next one, be it 
present or future). Just as the same female may be called a 
mother (with respect to her children) and a daughter (with 
respect to her own mother). 

Thus it is that all these four (lines of thought) are so many 
varieties of the theory which mainains Universal Existence. As 
regards the first of them, it is nothing else than the doctrii^ of 
the changing manifestations (of one eternal matter). Therefore 
it must be included in the Sankhya system (which has already 
been rejected). As to the second, it is a confusion of all times, 
since it implies co-existence of all the aspects (of an element) at 
the same time. The passion of a man may be prominent to- 
wards one female, and raarely existant (imperceptibly) towards 
another one, but what has this fact to do with the theory 
it is supposed to illustrate ? According to the fourth explana- 
tion, it would follow that all the three times are found together, 
included in one of them. Thus in the scope of the past time 
we can distinguish a former and a following moment. They 
will represent a past and a future time. Between them the 
intermediate moment will correspond to a present time. 

281, a. 7 . 

Thus it is that among all proposed explanations the (re- 
maining one alone), the third in number, is right, that which 
maintains a change of condition (or function). According 
thereto the difference in time reposes on the diifference in 
function: at the time when an element does not yet actually 
perform its function it is future ; when performing it, it 



VASUBANDHU ON SARVASTIVADA 


67 


becomes* piesent ; when, after having performed it, it stops, it 
becomes past : ^ 


281, b. L 

Sautrantika — Altliough I perfectly understand all this, I do 
not see my way to admit that it implies a real existence of the 
j^st and of the future. For, if the past is really existent and 
the future likewise, what induces us (to make a distinction 
between them and) to call them past and future ? 

Vaibhasika — But have we not already explained it : the 
time of an element is settled in accordance with the time of its 
function. 

Sautrantika — If this be the case, an eye which does not 
look at the present moment will not be present, because it does 
not perform its function ? 

Vaibhasika— It is ^ present (because it performs its other 
functions) : it is the immediate cause (of the next moment of 
its existence and the remote cause) determining (its future 
character). 

Mchims — pa, zi, 166, a, 4. 

(Although^ an eye that does not look is not performing its 
function, it, nevertheless, is efficient in immediately producing 
and forecasting^ the homogeneousness of its future with its past 
and in producing its, so-called, co-operative result.^ In that 
sense it is present), 

Sautrantika — In that case the past will be the same as the 
present, since the past likewise prepuces such results — the past 
viewed as a cause of homogeneousness in consecutive moments,® 


^The fearvastivadias establish several kinds of causal relations between 
the elements. If e.g. a moment of the sense of vision produces in the 
next moment a visual sensation, it is termed harana-hetu and its result 
udhi'pQ.ti-'plioild. This relation will be absent in the case of an inefficient 
condition of the organ of vision. But there are other relations between 
the moments of this organ. When the next moment is just the same as 
the foregoing one, thus evoking in the observer the idea of duration,, this 
relation is termed sahhaga-heiu as to a nisyanda-'pkda. If this moment 
appears in a stream (8a7itana) which is defiled by the presence of passions 
{Mesha)j this defiling character is inherited by the next moments, if no 
stopping of it is produced. Such a relation is called aarvatraga-hetu as to 
niayanda-’phala. Finally every moment in a stream is under the influence 
of former deeds {hatma) and may, in its turn, have an influence on future 
events , ^ This relation is termed x.ipaka’httv. as to vipaka-phala. The 
simultaneity of the inseparable elements of matter will produce a co- 
oppative result (furusakara-phala). These last three relations must be 
existent even in the case of a non-operative moment of the sense of vision. 
Of, Ab. X., ii, 50 ff. ; 0. Rosenberg, Pro dfems, chap. xv. 

^Sabhaga-hetu. 



68 


THE CENTRAL CONCEPTION OF BUDDHISM 


as a general moral cause,‘^ and as a cause requiring reti^bution’^ 
—all these causes would be present since they may perform 
their actual functions at the present moment. 

Vaibhasika I call present a cause which exhibits at the 

present moment a double function— that of giving an imme- 
diate result and that of detennining the character of its remote 
future. A past cause, although it may produce a result at the 
present moment, does not, at present, determine its general 
character (which has been previously detennined). Therefore 
the past is not the same as the present. 

Saulrantika — If the time is settled according to efficiency, 
an element may be past inasmuch as its power of determining 
the general character of a remote result belongs to the past, 
and it may be present nevertheless, since it produces the result 
of the present moment. Thus a confusion of the characteristic 
signs of all the three times will arise, and I maintain that you 
are guilty of such confusion. 

281, b, 3. 

Your standpoint leads to the absurdity of assuming actual 
or semi-actual past causes (i.e. semi-present elements), since tlie 
cause of homogeneousness and other past causes may produce 
a (present) result. A confusion of the essential natures of tbe 
three times is the consequence. 

(PART II. THE CASE AGAINST EVERLASTING 
ELEMENTS) 

281, b. 4, 

Karika, V, 25. 

Sautrantika — ^To this we must make the following reply : 
What is it that keeps (an element from exhibiting its action) ? 
And how is (the time of this action toi be determined) ? If it, 
the time of an element’s existence, does not differ from the 
essence of the element itself, there will altogether be no time. 
If the element in the future and in the past exists just in the 
same sense as in the present, why is it future and past ? The 
essence of the elements of existence (dharmata) is deep I 

281, b. 4. , 

If the essence alone of the elements of existence persists 
throughout all the three times, but not their function, what is 
it that constitutes an implement to this function ? What is it 

^SaTvairagahetu. '^Vipoka-hetu. 



VASUBANDHU ON SARVASTIVADA 


69 


that sometimes induces them to perform and sometimes keeps 
them back from performing their function ? 

Vaihhasika — ^The function is performed when all the 
necessary conditions are present. 

Sautrantika — This won't do 1 because (according to your 
theory) these conditions are always present. Again, as to the 
functions themselves, they likewise may be past, future, and 
present. They then require an explanation in their turn. 

281, b, 6. 

Will you admit the existence of a second function (which 
will determine the time of the first) ? or will you suppose that 
it neither is past, nor future, nor present, but that it, never- 
theless, does exist ? In this case this function will not be 
subject to the elementary forces of life (samskrta) and will re- 
present an immovable eternal entity {asamskrta). For this 
reason you cannot maintain that, as long as an element does 
not yet perform its function, it is future. 

281, b, 7. 

Vaibhasika — If the function of an element were something 
different from the element itself, your objections would be 
ri|Jit. But since it is not diiBEerent they do not hold good, 

Saulantika — Then there is no time at all ! If the func- 
tion is the same as the substance, the elements will always 
remain identical. For what reason are they sometimes called 
past, sometimes future, and sometimes present ? 

Vaihhasika — An element that has not yet appeared is 
future, one which has appeared and not disappeared is present, 
one which has disappeared is past. What is it you find un- 
founded in this explanation ? 

Sautrantika — The following point needs here to be 
established : 

If the past and the future exist in the same sense as the 
present, as realities, why is it, then, that, being existent in the 
same sense, they are future and past ? If the substance of the 
same element is alone (permanently) existent, what is the reason 
that it is spoken of as ‘‘having not yet appeared'* or “gone** ? 
What is it that does not appear later on and whose absence 
makes us call it “past” ? 

Thus it is that the notion of three times will altogether 
have no real foundation, as long as you don*t accept the view 
that the elements appear into life out of non-existence and 
return again into non-existence after having been existing. 
(Your theory implies eternal existence of the elements). 



70 


THE CENTR.\L CONCEPTION OF BUDDHISM 


Vaibhasika — It is absurd to maintain that it. implies 
eternal existence I There are the four forces (o£ origination, 
decay, maintainance, and destruction) to which every element 
is subject, and the combination (of the permanent essence of 
an element with these forces produces its impermanent mani- 
festations in life). 

Sautrantika — Mere words 1 They cannot explain the 
origination and decay (which are gonig on in the process of 
life). An element, according to this view, is permanent and 
impermanent at the same time. This, indeed, is something 
quite new I It has been said on this occasion : 

282, a, 7. 

Maintained eternal essence ; 

Denied eternal being I 
And yet no difference between 
This essence and this being. 

’Tis clearly a caprice 

Of the Almighty I 

Tis spoken by His order I 

{Vaibhasika — But Buddha has said that there “is’’ a 

past and there “is’’ a future). 

Sautrantika — We, likewise, maintain that there a 

past and there “is” a future. But this means that what has 

been formerly “is” past, and what, in the (presence of its 
causes), will happen “is” future. They exist in this sense 

only, in reality. 

282, b. L 

Vaibhasika — ^Who has ever maintained that they exist just in 
the same sense in which the prresent exists ? 

Sautrantika — How can one exist otherwise ? 

Vaibhasika — ^The essence of the past and of the future is 
(always) existent. 

Sautrantika — If they are always existent, how is the 
(remarkable result) brought about that they are called past 
or future ? Therefore the words of our Sublime Lord, “there 
is a past, there is a future,’' must be understood in another 
sense. He proffered them when discussing with the Ajivikas 
(who denied moral responsibility for past deeds). He strongly 
opposed their doctrine, which denied the connexion between 
a past cause and a future result. In order to make it known 
that a former cause and a future are something which happen- 
ed formerly and will happen in future, he categorically 
declared: “There is a past, there is a future.” For the 



VASUBANDHU ON SARVASTIVADA 


71 


word ‘‘is"'* acts as a particle (which may refer to something 
existent and to non-existence as well). As e.g. poople will 
say: ‘'there is absence of light'’ (before it has been kindled), 
'‘there is absence of light after (it has been put out)/’ or 
the “light is put out, but I did not put it out.” When 
Buddha declared that there “is” a past and there “is” a 
future, he used the word “is” in that sense. Had it been 
otherwise, it would be absolutely impossible to account for 
(the notions of) a past and a future. 

282, h. 5. 

Vaibhasika — But, then, how are we to understand the words 
of our Sublime Lord when addressing the Lagudacikhi- 
yaka wandering ascetics (the bearers of a tress on the head 
and a stick in the hand) ? Why did he declare: “a deed 
(which requires imm’ediate retribution) is past, is accomplish- 
ed, is finished, is gone, has disappeared, but, nevertheless, it 
does exist.” What did these ascetics really deny ? Not that 
the accomplished deed was past, (but that it could have some 
actual existence, i,e. some efficiency. Hence the words of 
Buddha imply an actual existence of the past). 

282, b. 7. 

Saufra7%tika — (No!) He meant that a force to produce 
retribution is driven by a past deed into the run (of combined 
elements which constitute an individual). Were it existent 
in reality, it would not be past. This is the only way in 
which this passage needs be understood, because on another 
occasion, in the sennon about “Non-substantiality as the Ulti- 
mate Truth”,® the sublime Lord has spoken thus: “when 
the organ of vision appears into life, there is absolutely 
nothing from which it proceeds, and when it vanishes, nought 
there is to which it retires. Therefore, O Brethren, this 
organ of vision has no former existence. Then it appears, 
and after having been existent it vanishes again.” If a future 
organ of vision were existent, Buddha would never have 
declared that it appeared out of non-existence (out of nothing). 

283, a. 2, 

Vaibhasika — (This passage means that), as far as the present 
time is concerned, it did not exist and then appeared (in the 
scope of this titne). 

Impossible! Time is not something different 
from the object (existing in it). 

*Paramartha-suni/aia-6utraf Samyuktagama, xiii, 22 (McGovern). 



the central conception of buddhism 


Vaibhasika — But may not its essence have ciot been 
present and then have appeared ? 

Sautraniika — This would only prove that it had no (real) 
future existence. 

(The secojid argument of the Sanrastivadins refuted) 

2S3, a. 3. 

Sautrantika — Now your second argument is drawn from 
the circumstance that cognition, when arising, reposes on two 
factors: a perceptive faculty and a corresponding object. 
Here we must at first (consider the instance) of mental 

cognition reposing on the operation of the intellect and on a 
mental (not sensuous) object.^-^ Is this object a real cause in 
the same sense as the intellect ? or is it a mere (passive) object 
realized by the intellect? If it were a real active cause, how 
could events which must happen after the lapse of a thousand 
aeons, or those which never will happen, possibly constitute 
an active cause of the corresponding cognition ? And the 

Final Deliverance, which is synonymous with the total 

cessation of every operation of all the elements of existence, 
how can it constitute a really active cause of its own concep- 
tion? But if, on the other hand, such objects are mere 

passive objects of the operating mind, then I maintain ^hat 
they may be future and may be past. 

283, a. 7. 

Vaibhasika — If they altogether do not exist, how can they 
possible be objects ? 

Sautrantika — ^Their existence I admit, (understanding by 
existence) that very form in which they are conceived by us at 
the present moment in the present place. 

281, a. 8, 

Vaibhasika — And how are they conceived ? 

Sautrantika — As past and as future. If somebody remem- 
bers a past object or a former feeling, he has never been 
observed to say *ht exists’^ but only, ‘ht did exist.^’ 

(The third argument of the Sarvastivadins examined) 

283^, h. L 

Sautrantika — As (to the cognition of past and future) sense 
objects, the past ones are remembered in that very form 
in which they were experienced when they were present, and 

» dharmah, i.e., 64 dharmm, ayatam No. 12. 



VASUBANDHU ON SARVASTIVADA 


73 


the future ones are known to Buddhas just in that form in 
which they will appear at the time when they will be present. 

Vaihhasika—Axid if it be just the same existence (as the 
present one) ? 

Sautrantika — Then it is present. 

Vaibhaslka — If not ? 

Sautrantika — (It is absent: and thus) it is proved that 
absence can be cognized just as well (as presence). 

VaibJmika — But (will not you admit that the past and 
the future) are fragments of the present itself ? 

Sautrantika — No, because we are not conscious of 
apprehending fragments. 

Vaibhasika — But, then, it may represent the same stuff, 
with the mere (difference that in the past and the future) its 
atoms may be disjoined ? 

Sautrantika — In that case, atoms will be eternally existent, 
and (all the process of life) will consist in their either combin- 
ing or disjoining. There will altogether be no new origina- 
tion, no real extinction, and thus you will become guilty of 
adhering to the (heretical) doctrine of the Ajivikas. 

283, b. 4. 

Moreover, you will be contradicted by the scriptural passage 
(referred to above) : ‘Svhen the organ of vision is produced, it 
does not come from some other place ; when it disappears, 
it is not going tO' be stored up in another place, etc.’’ 

On the other hand, it is impo-^siblc that feelings and other 
(mental phenomena), which have no atomic structure, should 
be divided into fragments. If remembered, they likewise are 
remembered in that very form in which they did appear and 
were experienced. And, if you suppose that they continue to 
exist in the same form, they must be eternal. If they do not, 
it will be proved that (a non-existent feeling) may be appre- 
hended (by memory) just as well (as an existent one is appre- 
hended by self-perception). 

283, b. 6. 

Vaibhasika — If non-existence is capable of being appe- 
hended, you must add to (the list of all things cognizable, i.e.) 
to the twelve bases of cognition (ayatana), a new category, the 
thirteenth, non-existence. 

Sautrantika — Supposing I think about the absence of a 
thirteenth category, what will be then the object corresponding 
to my thought ? 



74 


THE CENTRAL CONCEPIION OF BUDDJIISM 


Vaihhasika — It will be this ver}^ (category, i.e, fts) name. 

Sautrantika — ^And what is it (generally speaking) that we 
apprehend, when we are expecting to hear a word which as 
yet is not pronounced ? 

Vaibhasika — It is nothing else than this very word. 

Sautrantika — ^Then a person who desires not to hear this 
word, will be obliged to pronounce it I 

Vaibhasika — It may be the future condition of this word ? 

Sautrantika — If it is something existent, why does it 
produce an idea of absence ? 

Vaibhasika — There it may be its present absence ? 

Sautrantika — No! it is the same. (If this present absence 
is something existent, why does it produce an idea of non- 
existence ?) 

Vaibhasika — Then it may be the characteristic sign of a 
future ; (this sign is absent at present, and gives rise to the 
idea of non-existence). 

Sautrantika — ^This sign consists (in the fact that the 
future) will appear into existence out of a previous non- 
existence. Thus it is that both existence and non-existence 
may be objects of cognition. 

2S4, a, 2. 

Vaibhasika — ^And how do you explain the words of the future 
Buddha, who has spoken thus : “that tliese persons know or 
perceive things which do not exist in the world — this is 
impossible ! ’’ ? 

Sautrantika — ^These words (do not mean that non- 
existence cannot be an object of cognition, but they) have the 
following meaning : — “there are other, manifestly deluded, 
persons (who have not yet attained the divine power of vision : 
they) perceive things that never did exist. I perceive only 
existing (remote) things.'' If, on the contrary, every possible 
thought had only existing things for its object, what reason 
could there have been for doubting (the accuracy of the 
assertion of such people about what they were perceiving by 
their p>ower of divine vision) ? or what would have been the 
difference (between the hodhisattva^s real power of vision and 
the incomplete power of these men) ? 

284 ^ a. 5. 

It is inevitable that we should understand the ' passage iti 
this sense, because it is confirmed by another scriptural passage, 
which begins with the words : “come unto me, ye monks, my 
pupils !“ and goes on until the following words are spoken: 



VASUBANDHU ON SARVASTIVADA 


75' 


'‘what I am telling him in the morning becomes clearer at 
night, what 1 am conversing about at night becomes clearer to 
him next morning. He will cognize the existence of what does 
exist, the non-existence of what does not exist. Where something 
still higher exists, he will know that there is something still 
higher ; and where nothing higher exists, he will know that (it 
is the Final Deliverance, that) there is nothing higher than 
that r’ Therefore the argument (in favour of a real existence 
of the past, that you have drawn from the supposed fact that) 
our intellect can have only existent things for its object — this 
argument is wrong. 

[The fourth argument of the Sarvastivadins examined) 
284, a. 7. 

Sautrantika — ^As to your next argument (in favour of the 
real existence of the past, viz. because it has a real) result — 
we must observe that we, the Sautrantikas, never did maintain 
that a result can be produced from a past deed (directly), 

Vaibhasika — How is it produced, then ? 

Sautrantika — (This deed) is the beginning of a peculiar 
chain of events (in the course of which the result appears 
sooner or later). A more detailed explanation of this point 
will ^e given later on, when we will refute the theory (of the 
Vatsiputriyas, who) maintain the existence of an individual.^^ 
(As to your view, it is manifestly inconsistent). Wliat result 
can a past deed produce according to this view ? If the past 
and the future are actually .existent, the result will necessarily 
be pre-existent from all eternity. 

Vaibhasika — (But we assume the existence of the force of 
generation ?) 

284, b. L 

Sautrantika — Well, then, it will be established that this force 
itself appears after having previously been non-existent I 
In fact, if everything without any exception is pre-existent,^ 
there can be nothing that could have a force to produce any- 
thing! In the end it comes to the same as the theory of the 
followers of Varsaganya. According to them there is neither 
production of something new nor extinction of something 
existent: what exists is always existent, what does not exist 
wilt never become existent. 

Vaibhasika — But the force (of a past deed) may consist 
in ‘‘making present’ ' (some already existing element)? 

Ah, K.^ ix, translated in my Soul Theory, 



76 


THE CENTRAL CONCEPTION OF BUDDHISM 


284, b, 3. 

Sauirantika — How is this “making present’" to be understood ? 

Vaibhasika — It consists in removing (the result from one) 
place to another. 

Sauirantika — Then the result would be eternally pre- 
existent. And, as to non-existent elements, how can they (be 
made to change place)? Moreover, such ''removing’" means 
production (of a motion, i.e. of something) which previously 
did not exist. 

2S4, h. 5, 

Vaibhasika — It may consist in a “specification"" of the (ever- 
lasting) essence of an element ? 

Sauirantika — ^This, again, would prove that there is pro- 
duction of tvhat previously did not exist. To conclude: the 
principle of Universal Existence, as far as exegetical literature 
is concerned, where it implies an actual existence of the past 
and of the future, does not hold good. On the contrary, it’ 
is all right if we strictly conform to the words of Scripture, 
where it is declared that "everything exists."" 

Vaibhasika — And in what sense has it been declared in 
Scripture that “everything exists” ? 

Sauirantika — O Brahmins! it has been declared, 'tevery- 
thing exists’": that means no more than “the elements 
included in the twelve categories {ayatana) are existent."* 

Vaibhasika — And the three times (are they not included 
among these elements) ? 

Sauirantika — (No, they are notl) How their existence is 
to be understood we have already explained. 

(The Sawasiivadin reverts to his first argument) 

284, h. 7. 

Vaibhasika — If the past and the future did not exist, how 
could it be possible that a man should be attracted by (a past 
and future passion) to a (past or future object of enjoyment) ? 

Sauirantika — This becomes possible because past passions 
leave residues (or produce seeds), which are the causes of new 
passions ; these seeds are existent (and the saint has the 
capacity of keeping them down, of being independent of 
them). Therefore, a man can be bound by (past accesses of) 
passion. And it is in this sense that he can be allured by 
(future or past) objects, because the seeds of these passions, 
which are directed towards (past and future enjoyments), are 
always present in him. 



VASUBANDHU ON SARVASTIVADA 


17 


Conclusiofi 

Cf. Mchims-pa, ii, 167, b. '7. 285, a. 1. 

VC'ibhasikci (does not feel discountenanced by this series 
of arguments, and says:) We Vaibhasikas, nevertheless, 
maintain that the past and the future certainly do exist. But 
(regarding the everlasting essence of the elements of existence, 
we confess) that this is something we do not succeed in 
explaining, their essence is deep (it is transcendental), since 
its existence cannot be established by rational methods.^ 
(And as to the use we make of the notion of time in common 
life, it is contradictory. We use) the expression: “what 
appears vanishes” (implying that the same element appears 
and disappears, e.g.) “some matter appears and disappears”. 
But we, likewise, say “one thing appears, another disappears,” 
implying that one element, the future one, enters into life, and ' 
another one (the present one) stops. We also speak of the 
appearing of time (itself “the time is come”), because the 
element which enters into life is included in the notion of 
time. And we speak about being born “from time”, since 
the future includes many moments (and only one of' them 
actually enters into life). 


End of the Episodical Investigation 


The Peking and Nartliang Bstan-hgjnir read here dran-har mi nvs- 
so. This may mean that the remark of the Vaibhasika applies to the 
element*-of mind alone, i.o. tho elomonts that cannot be carried from one 
place to another. Biit Sanghabhadra’s text points to a I'eading bgad-jaar 
mi nvs-sn, which undoubtedly is tho correct one, since it is supported by 
the translation of Hiuon-Tsatig. The conniption must be very old, since 
the block-print of tho Aga monastery, which is founded on old sources, 
coming from Derge, repeats it and it is retained by Mchims-pa. 



THE CENTRAL CONCEPTION OF BUDDHISM 


APPENDIX II 

Tables of the Elements According to the Sarvastiv.aoins 


GENERAL VIEW 


All elements 

of existence {sarramz=75 

1 

dkarnias) 

1 

sasrava (72) 

““influenced’’ by avidya 

1 


1 

a7iasrara (75) 
‘influenced” by prajna 

samsJcTta (72) 

72 elements “co-opera- 
ting” in full swing 

1 

samskrta (72) 
the same elements, 
but “co-operation” 
abating 

asamskrta (3) 

‘ ‘non-co-operating” 

1 

upadana-skandha 
elements “attached” 
to life 

1 

a7ias rava-skandha 
the same elements, 
but attachment 
fading 

1 

. 1 

extinction of 
the elements 

1 

1 

1 

duhhJia samudaya 

1 

marga 

1 

nirodha 

1 

prthog-jana 

arya 

1 

huddlia ^ 


samsara nirvana 

empirical existence absolute existence 


75 elements 



tables Of ELEMENTS 


79 


CiAssificATiON OF All Elements op Existence 

— n/zn/ (iyat(i}i.OjS — 13 ^hcil^iis 75 dhciT 

1. Fii'-sl General Division 


1 . Sam'iki'l'a co-operating, impermanent 72 dhami 

2. ^«mi^/irta_non-co-opcraling, immutableJls dharmas 

II. Second General Dmsion 

1 - “inliuenced” by passions, process of life in fnii 

swing. 

2 . anasrava “uninliucnced” by passions, process of i f 

abating and suppressed. 

The first item corresponds to the seventy-two sanskrtr, 
dharmas as far as tliey co-operate in the production of an o rp' 
nai-y life (:l>rthag-jana), the second contains the three ete^V 
elements (asamskrta) and the samskrla as well, in those 
when life is being gradually suppressed and ’ the indiviH^ 
becomes a saint {arya). '^'^^1 

III. Third General Division, into four stages (satya) 

1. dukha unrest | 

2. samxidaya its cause J ^2 sasrava-dharnia^ 

3. ?urO'd/za... eternal peace =:tlie 3 asaniskm anasrava^ 

4. cause = the remaining anasrava ) dharnia 

IV. Fourth General Division 

from the view-point of tlie part played by the elements in the 
process of cognition, into six subjective and six objective ^‘bases’* 
(ayatana) of cognition, 

I. Six internal bases 
(adhyatma-ayatana) or 
receptive faculties {hir 
driya). 

1. Sense of vision (caksur- 
indriyatana). 

2. Sense of audition (cro- 
tra-indriya-ayaiana). 

3. Sense of smelling (g/zra- 
na-indriya-ayatana), 

4. Sense of taste (jihva-in- 
driya-ayatana), 

5. Sense of touch (kaya-in- 
driya-ayatana). 

6. Faculty of the intellect 
or consciousness (mana- 
indriya^ayatana). 


II. Six external bases (bah-^ 
yd'ayatana) or objects 
(visaya), 

7. Colour and shape {rupa^ 
ayatana). 

8. Sound (cabda-ayatana), 

9. Odour (gandha-ayatana). 

10. Taste (rasa-ayatana). 

1 1. T angibles (sprasiavya- 
ayatana). 

12. Non-sensuous objects 
{dharma-ayatana or dhar- 
mah). 



80 


THE CENTRAL CONCEPflON OF BUDDHISM 


In this classification die eleven fii'st items cori;espond to 
eleven (dharma), each including one. The twelfth item con- 
tains all the remaining sixty-four elements, and it is therefore 
called dharma^yatana or simply dharmah, i.e. the remaining 
elements. 


V. Fifth General Division 

into eighteen classes (dhatii =: gotra) of elements represented 
in the composition of an individual stream of life (santana) in 
the different planes of existence. 


1. Six indriyas. 

1. caksur-dhatUy sense of 
vision. 

2 . crotra’dhatUj 

audition. 

3. ghrana-dhatu^ „ „ 

smelling. 

4. jihva-dhatu, „ „ 

taste. 

5. kaya-dhatu, „ „ 

touch. 

6. mano'-dhatu, „ „ 

faculty of intellect. 


11. Six vis ay as. 

7. rupa-dhatu^ colour. 

8. cabda-dhatu, sound. 

9. gandha-dhatu^ odour. 

10. rasa-dhalu, taste. 

11. sprastavya-dhatii, tan- 
gible. 

12. dliarma-dhatu, or dhar- 
mah, non-sensuous^ ob- 
jects. 


III. Six 

13. Visual consciousness 

14. Auditory „ 

15. Olfactory „ 

16. Gustatory „ 

17. Tactile „ 

18. Non-sensuous „ 

Ten of these dhuius contain one dharma each (Nos. 1-5 
and 6-11) ; the dhatu No. 12 contains sixty-four dha^mas (forty- 
six caitta, fourteen citta-viprayukta^ three asamskria, and avi- 
jnapti) consciousntss, representing a single dharma, is split 
into seven dhatus. No. 6 and Nos. 13-18. 

On the sensuous plane of existence (kama-Dhatu) the 
individual streams (santana) are composed of all the eighteen 
dhatus. In the world of ‘‘Reduced Matter'' (rupa-Dhatu) the 
dhatus Nos. 9-10 and 15-16 are absent, and the individuals are 
composed of only fourteen dhatus. In the Immaterial Worlds 


(caksur-vijhana-dhatu) 

(shrotra-vijnana-dhaiu) 

(ghrana-injhana’dhatu) 

(jihva-vij hajia^dhatu) 

(kaya-vijhana-dhatu) 

(mano-vijnana-dhatu) 



TABLES OT ELEMExYTS 


8i 


{arupa-Dlwiu) the)^ axe composed of only three dhatiis^ Nos. 6, 
12 and 18, since all mailer and sensuous consciousness does 
not exist there. 

The six visayas are visaya in regard to the six hidnyas^ 
but alamhana in regard lo the six vijnana^. 

VI Sixth division^ of the seventy-two active elements 
{sdruskHa-dharma) into five groups (skandhd). 


1. rupa-skajidha. 

2. v^dana-skandha 

3. sanjha-skandha 

4. samskara-skandha. 

5. mjhana-skandha. 


the physical elements, 
matter 1 1 dharmas 

feeling 1 dharma 

conception 1 dhanna 

will and other forces 58 dharmas 

pure consciousness 

(without content) 1 dharma 


Together 72 


Group means collection, viz,, of dharmas past, present and 
future, remote and near, pure and defiled, etc. The asamskria 
are not included in this division, but the other anasrava, as 
well as the sasrava^ are included. When the sasiYwa alone are 
meant, the groups are called upadajia-skajidha, i.e. elements of 
“attachment” to life : Other synonyms are rana ‘‘struggle”, 
duhka ‘‘unrest'’, diihkha-samudaya “cause of unrest” lok(t 
“mundane existence”, drslhsthitl “the place where the belief 
in the existence of personally obtains”, bhava “existence”“ 
simply, since by existence simply the usual existence of ordinary 
men is meant. 

When the skandha.^ embrace all the jamskrta-dharmas, the: 
sasrava and anasrava as well, they receive, in. contra-distinction 
to the upadana-skandhas, other names: adhvanah “the, (three) 
times”, halha-vastv “objects of speech”, mnihsararia ‘‘elements 
to be suppressed”, savastuka “having empirical reality”, or 
“being subject to causality”. The skandha 4 contains. ah 
the caifta-dharmas, except vedana and sanjna, i.e. forty^four 
mental faculties with cetana, the will as the principal crie, and 
fourteen general forces (citta-xnprayukta). 

The Single Elements of Matfer (Rupa), Mind (CittaCaitta'v 
Forces (Vipravukta-samskara), And Eternity (Asamsyrta) 

A. Matter (Rupa) 

1, caksxir-mdriya, translucent matter (rupa-pra^ada) con- 
veying visual sensations. 

2. crotra-indriya^ translucent matter , {rnpa-prasada) con- 
veying auditory sensations. 



.82 


THL CENTRAL CONCEPTION OF BUDDHISM 


3. ghrana-indriya, translucent matter (lupa-pramda) con- 
veying olfactory sensations. 

4. jiliva-^mdriya^ translucent matter {rupa-prasada) con- 
veying taste sensations. 

5. kaya-indriya, translucent matter {rupa-prasada) con- 
veying tactile sensations. 

6. yupa-visaya, visual sense-data 

7. shabda-visaya, auditory sense-data 

8. gandha-visaya, olfactory sense-data 

9. rasa-visaya, taste sense-data 

10. sprastavya-visaya^ tactile sense-data 

11. avijnapii, unmanifested matter, the vehicle of moral 
qualities. 

Matter is divided into primary (bhutaz=^mahabhuta) and 
secondary (bhautika). Four atoms of primary matter, one 
from each mahabhuta, are necessary to support one bhaiUika- 
atom. Only No. 10, the tactile class, contains both all the 
primary and some secondary kinds of tactibility: all the other 
classes contain only secondly, supported, kind of matter. 

The Four Universal Elements of Matter (mahabhuta) 

1. prthivij element manifesting itself ashard-stuff, or repulsion. 

2. ap „ „ „ viscous-stuff, or attrac- 

tion. 

3. tejas^ „ „ „ heat-stu£E 

4. irana „ „ „ motion-stuff 

Avijhapti is a variety of karma. Actions can be either 
mental (cetana) or physical— corporeal and vocal acts (kayika- 
and vacikorkarma). They are also divided into manifest acts 
(vijnapH) and unmanifested ones — avijhapti. The latter are, 
for our habits of thought, not acts, but their results, they are 
not physical, but moral. If a novice has taken the vows he has 
committed a physical, vocal action, which is vijhapti, but the 
lasting result is some moral excellence hidden in consciousness, 
and this is avijhapti. It constitutes a link between the act and 
its future retribution ; it is, therefore, the same as samskara, 
apuTva, adrsta of the Brahmanical systems. Although by no 
means physical, since it lacks the general characteristic of matter 
which is impenetrability (sapratighatva), it nevertheless is 
brought by the Saivastivadins (not by others) under the head 
of rupa^ because of its close connexion with the physical act 
upon which it follows as a shadow cast from an object always 
follows that object. 



TABLES OF ELEMENTS 


83 


B. Consciousness^ Pure, without Content (Citta= Manas 
= Vijnana), 

1. manas^ consciousness in the role of an independent, sixth, 
perceptive faculty, cognizing the non sensuous, or abstract, 
objects (dharmah): it represents the preceding moment 
with regard to the niano-vijnana. 

2. caksur-vijnana^ the same pure consciousness when associated 
with die visual sense. 

3. crotra-vijfiana, the same pure consciousness when associa- 
ted with the auditory sense. 

4. ghrana-vijnana, the same pure consciousness when associa- 
ted with the olfactory sense. 

5. jihva-vijnam, the same pure consciousness when associated 
with the taste sense. 

6. kaya'vijnana, the same pure consciousness when associated 
with the tactile sense. 

7. mano-vijhana, the same pure consciousness when associated 
with a previous moment of the same run of consciousness 
without participation of any of the five senses. 

C, The Forty-six Mental Elements (Caitta-dharma) or 
Faculties Intimately Combining with the Element of 
Consciousness (Citta-samprayukta-samskara) 

They are divided into — 

1. 10 citta-mahabhumika-dharma, Mental 

Faculties 

2. 10 kucala-mahabhumika-dhurma j 

3. 6 kleca-mahabhuffiika-dharma \ 

4. 1 akucala^mahabhumika-dharma 1 Moral Forces 

5. 10 upakleca {parittOr) bhumika-dharma 

6. 8 aniyata-bhumika-dharma 

Together 46. 

A. Ten General Mental Faculties present in every moment of 
Coy^sciousness (citta-mahahhumika ) — 

1. vedana faculty of feeling (pleasant, unpleasant, indiffe- 
rent). 

concepts (capable of coalescing with a 
word). 

will, conscious effort {ciita-abhisams- 
kara^ citta-praspandd), 
sensation (comparable to a first ‘^con- 
tact’’ between object, sense-organ, 
and consciousness). 


2. sanjna 

3. cetana 

4 . spared 



84 


THE CENTRAL CONCEPTION OF BUDDHISM 


5. chanda faculty of desire (abhipreie vast any abhilasa), 

6. prajna undersianding, discriminating {yena- 

„ sankirna iva dharmali puspmiiva pra- 

viciyajite). 

7. smrti „ memory (celaso " pramosah). 

8. maimsikara „ atJtenllLo'n. 

9. adhimoksa „ inclination {alambanasya gunato 'va- 

dharanam), 

10. samadhi „ concentration (yena cittani praban- 

dhena ekalralambane variate), 

B. Ten U^iiversally ''good'' Moral Forces^ present in every 
favourable moment of Consciom^iess (kucala-mahabhu- 
mika ) — 

1. craddha faculty of belief in retribution, the purity of 

mind, the reverse of passion (citlasya 
prasadah). 

2. virya „ courage in good actions (kucala- 

kriyayatn cetaso ’tyutsahah), 

3. upeksa „ equanimity, indifference (ciUasya sarna- 

tUy yad-yogal cittam anabhogani 
variate). 

4. hri „ shyness, modesty, humility, being as- 

hamed with reference to ontself 

5. apatrapa „ aversion to things objectionable, feel- 

ing disgust witli reference to other 
(gauravam)^ The reverse of IV, 1, 
peoples’ objectionable actions {avn- 

dye bhayadarcita). The reverse of 
IV, 2. 

6 . alobha „ absence of love. 

7. advesa „ absence of hatred. 

8. ahinisa „ causing no injury. 

9. pras{c) 

rabdhi „ mental dexterity {cittasya karmanyala^ 

cittasya laghavam). 

IQ. apramada „ acquiring and preserving good qualities 

{kucalanam dharmanam pratilambha- 
nisevanam). 

C. Six Universally '‘Obscured^' Elements present in every 

unfavourable , moment of Consciousness {kleca-maha- 

hhumika ) — 

1. moha (^avK 

dya) faculty of ignorance, the reverse of prajna (I, 6), 
and therefore the primordial cause of 



TABLES OF ELEMENTS 


85 


the commotion (duhkha) of the 
world-process, 

2. pramada faculty of carelessness, the reverse of apramada^ 

11 , 10 . 

mental heaviness, clumsiness, the re\erse 
of prasrabdhi, II, 9. 
disturbed mind, the reverse of craddha^ 

II, 1. 

sloth, indolence, inactive temperament, 
being addicted to pleasure and sports, 
sanguine temperament (cetaso' nupa- 
camah^ nrtya-giiad i<rngara-vecya-al- 
a ni ka ra-kaya u ddha fya -sa n n i craya-da n a- 
karmakah caitasika dharmah). 

These six faculties are not always absolutely bad ; they 
sometimes may be indifferent (axryakrta) for the progress to- 
wards final Deliverance, but they are nevertheless always 
'^obscured’’ (niwia=zachadita=z kUsta) by promoting the belief 
in an existing j^ersonality {satkaycL-anugraha-d’^'sti-sampTayukta). 
Always bad (akucalax/ cwa) are the following two — 

D. Tioo U niversally ‘^had'' Ek7mnts present in every un- 
^ favourable moment of Consciousness (akucala.-maha- 

h h t i-m tka-d harm a ) — 

1. ahrikya faculty of irreverence (agaivravam = apraticata^^'^ 

yad-yogad gunesu gunavatsu ca pud- 
galesu gau)avam na kawti), arroga- 
gance, want of humility {abhaya- 
vaca-vartita). The reverse of II, .4 
{gaurava-pTatidvandvo dharmah). 

2. anapatrapya „ not feeling indignant at offences done 

by others (avadye sadbhir garhite 
bhaya-a'-darciivajn). The reverse of 
II, 5. 

E. Ten Vicious Elements of limited occuiTence {upakleca 
ipV'Hta-) bhumika-dharma ) — 

1. krodha faculty of anger, violence {vyapada-vlhimsa-xyar- 

jitah sattvasattvayor aghaiah). 

2 murksa „ hypocrisy, deceit (of countries and 

others). 

3. matsarya „ envy. 

4. irsya „ jealousy. 

prafi('a = fj^O‘ii'St?ia7iiya. 


3, kail sidy a 
4:. acraddha 

5. styana 

6. auddhaiya 



86 


THE CENTRAL CONCEPTION OF BUDDHISM 


5- pradasa 

6. vihimsa 

7. upanaha 

8. maya 

9. catya 

10. mada 


approving obijectionable things 
vastu-paramarga). 
causing harm, menacing, 
breaking friendship, 
deceit. 

perfidy, trickery. 

complacency, self -admiration (cf. mana, 
VI, 7). 


These ten elements are described as purely mental {mano- 
bhumika eva ) ; they are never associated with any of the five 
varieties of sensuous consciousness {na panca-vijnaria-kayikah), 
they cannot combine with the four alternating kle^as {raga, 
dvesa, mana, vkikitsa), but with moha^avidya alone, the purely 
mental kleca. They must be suppressed by knowledge (drsti- 
heya), not by concentration (bhavanadieya.) For all these 
reasons they are classified as vices of a limited scope (paritta- 
bhumika). 


F. Eight Elements not having any definite place in the above 
system, but capable of entering into various combinations. 
{antyaia-bhumi-dharnra ) — 


1. kaukrtya faculty of repenting. 


middha 
( =: nidra) 

3. vitarka 

4. mcara 

5. raga 

6. dvesa 

7. mana 


8. vicikitsa 


absent-mindedness, dreamy state of 
mind. 

a searching state of mind, 
a fixing state of mind, 
love, passion, 
hatred. 

pride, an exaggerated opinion of one’s 
own pre-eminence by real or imagi- 
ned qualifications (cf. mada, V. 10). 
a doubting turn of mind. 


Kaukrtya is brought under this head because it neither 
has a place among the universal faculties, nor has it a defi- 
nitely “good” or definitely '*bad” significance: it can mean 
repentance for a mad deed and being sorry for having e.g. 
overdone in charity. 

Middha can also have various moral asppects. 

Vitarka and vicara are universal only in the kama-Dhatu, 

Raga, dvesa, mana, and vicikitsa are four klecas, the fifth 
being moka placed in III, 1. Moha is a universal “defiler”, 
entering in every unfavourable conscious moment, but the 
other four “defilers’’ cannot combine with one another; if 



TABLES OF ELEIVIENTS 


87 


there is Xaga associated with one’s consciousness, there can be 
no association with dvesa at the same time. Thus it is that 
in every favourable, “good’^ moment, consciousness is associa- 
ted with at least twenty-two elements: the ten universal ones 
(I, 1-10), the ten universally good ones, and vitarka, vicara 
(VI, 4-5). If lepentance (VI, 1) is added, the number will 
increase by one. In every unfavourable or ‘‘bad” moment the 
minimum number will be twenty elements: the ten universal 
ones (I, 1-10), the six universally ‘‘obscured” (III, 1-6), the two 
universally bad (IV, 1-2), and vUarka, vicara (VI, 4-5). If all 
the samskcta-laksanaSy citta itself, its lakshmaiia and up- 
alaksanas are taken into account, the number will increase 
accordingly (cf. p. 30, n. 2). Vasubandhu remarks that it is 
very difficult to distinguish all these elements even in the long 
run, let alone in a moment, but difficult does not mean im- 
possible. Contradictor)’ elements, as e.g., pleasure and pain, 
cannot enter into the same combination, but contradiction is 
often, only on the surface, e.g. sty ana and auddhaiya, an 
inactive and an exuberant element, are present in every vicious 
moment, it is some indulging in vice and some active parti- 
cipation. Whether the individual or the conscious state shall 
be more passive or more active depends on the occasional pre- 
dominance of one element over the others. In every moment, 
or inental state, there alw^ays is one predominant element, just 
as in material substances we have earth, water, fire and air, 
according to the predominance of one of the mahabhutas 
(cf. p. 13). Among the universally good elements indifEerence 
(upeksha II, 3) and inclination {adhimoksa, II, 9) are not 
contradictory: they are directed towards different objeas: 
indifference towards pain and pleasure, and inclination to- 
wards good deeds, they can go together. But apramada 
(III, 2) are the reverse of one another, not mutual absence 
alone, and therefore they never can combine. 

Vitarka, Vicara 

V\itaTka and vicara are sub-conscious operations of the mind 
(7ta niccaya-dharmau), Vitarka is “an indistinct murmur of 
the mind”, (mano-jalpa), which is searching (paryesaka) after 
its object. In this initial stage {anatyuha-avasthayam), it is 
simply a 'move of will (cetana-vicesa) ; when emerging into the 
conscious plane (atyuha-avasthayam), it becomes a certain 
thought {prajna-mcesa). Vicara is also an “indistinct murmur 
of the mind”, but it is attempting to fix (pratyaveksaka) its 
object; it has the same two stages; it is also characterized as a 
refinement (suksmata) of the coarser (audarika) vitarka. Since 



88 THE CENTRAL CONCEPTION OF BUDDHISM 

both these functions are associated with sense-coniciousness, 
they very nearly approach the Kantian doctrine of synthesis of 
apprehension preceded by tlie mind running through a variety 
of sense-impressions, as far as they are sub-conscious operations 
of the mind preceding a definite sense perception. The 
Vaibhasikas maintain that there is some viia^'ka {^vikalpa) in 
every moment of consciousness; they then call it svabhava- 
vikalpa; but Vasubandhu seems to admit ‘'pure sensation” 
(reine * 5 innlichkeit) without any participation of discursive 
thought (vikalpa). Cf. Ab. K., i, 30; ii, 33. Vyasa-hhasya in 
i, 44, according to Professor B. Seal {Positive Sciences, p. 18), 
trans. pure intuition {nirvicara-niwikalpa-praj7ia) and “empi- 
rical” intuition (sovichara-^iirvikalpa-prajna); the latter con- 
tains the three relations of Space, Time, and Causation, in 
addition to pure consciousness. 

D. Forces wmicH can neither be included among Material 
Nor among Spiritual Elements (Rupa-citta-viprayukta- 
samsrara) 

1. pmpti ... a force which controls the collection of 

the elements in an individual stream 
of life (santana). 

2. aprapti ... a force which occasionally keeps some 

elements in abeyance in an in^livi- 
dual santana. 

3. nikaya-sa- 

bhagata ... a force producing generality or homo- 
geneity of existences, the counter- 
part of the realistic generality of the 
Vaigesikas. 

4. asanjnika ... a force which (automatically, as a result 

of former deeds), transfers an indivi- 
dual into the realms of unconscious 
trance. 

5. asanjni- 

samapatti ... a force stopping consciousness and 

producing the unconscious trance 
(through an effort). 

6. nirodha- 

sarnapatti ... a force stopping consciousness and pro- 

ducing the highest, semi-couvseious, 
dreamy trance. 

7. jivita ... the force of life-duration, a force which 

at the time of birth forecasts the 
moment of death, just as the force 
with which an arrow is discharged 



TABLES OF ELEMENTS 


89 


forecasts the moment when it will tali 
down. 

8. jali ... origination 

9* sihiti ... subsistence ( the iour sums krla-laksa- 

10. jara ... decay \ jias, cf. above. 

11. anityata ... extinction ( 

12. mtiia-kaya ... the foixe imparting significance to 

words 

18. Pada-kaya ... the force imparting significance to sen- 
tences. 

14. vyanjana-kaya the force imparting significance to articulate 

sounds. 

£. Immutable Elements (Asamskrta-Dharma) 

1. akaca ... space (emptV). 

2. prafisankhya- 

nirodha ... the suppression of the manifestations of 
an clement (dharma) through the 
action of understanding (prajna), as 
e.g. after having realized that the 
existence of a personality is an illu- 
sion a kind of eternal blank is substi- 

^ tilted for this wrong idea. 

8. apratisankhya- the same cessation produced not through 
nirodha ... knowledge, but in a natural way, 
through the extinction of the causes 
tlrat produced a manifestation, as e.g, 
the extinction of the fire when there 
is no more fuel. 

F. Casu\l Interconnexion of Elements (Hetu-pratyaya) 

4 Fratyaya, 6 Hetu. 5 Phala. 

1. sahabhu-hetu > ’ I- /^urw^akara- 

2. samprayukta- J phala, 

hetu 

1. hetu-pratyaya. 8. sabhaga-hetu ) 2. nisyanda- 

4. sarvatraga- f phala, 

hetu 

5. vipaka-hetu 3. vipaka-phala. 

2. samanantara-pTa- 

tyaya, 

3. alarnhana-pra- 

tyaya 

4. adhipat i-pralyaya, 6, karana-helu 4. adhipati-phala. 

5.' visamyoga- 
phala. 



90 


THE CENTRAL CONCEPTION OF BUDDHISM 


As to the meaning, Samananiara-pratyaya {z=upasarpa7ia- 
pratyayd) is similar to the satnavayi-karana of the Vaicesikas^ 
Alambana, cf. p. 59, n. 1. Adhipati-pratyaya and karana-hetu 
are similar to the karana {=iSadhakatamam karanam) of the 
Vaicesikw^, Visamyoga-phala is nirvana, 

G. The Twelve Consecutive Stages in the Ever- 
Revolving Life-process, 

{Avasthika or prakaraika pratitya^samutpada) 

I. Former Life 

... delusion {caitta-dharma, III, 1). 

... karma). 

II. Present Life 

... first moment of a new life, the moment 
of conception {=pratisandhuvijnana). 
... the five skandhas in the embryo before 
the formation of the sense-organs. 

... the formation of the organs. 

... organs and consciousness begin to co- 
operate. 

... definite sensations. 

... awakening of the sexual instinct, begin- 
ning of new karma. 

... various pursuits in life. 

... life, i.e. various conscious activities 
{= karma-bhava). 

III. Future Life 
... rebirth. 

.... new life, decay, and death. 

The five skandhas are present during the whole process ; 
the different stages receive their names from the predominant 
dharma (cf, p. 28, n. 3). The first two stages indicate the 
origin of the life-process (duhkha-samudaya). 

In regard to a future life Nos. 8-10 perform the same func- 
tion as Nos. 1-2 in regard to the present life. Therefore the 
series represents an ever revolving ‘VheeP'. 


1. avidya 

2. samskara 


3. vijna7%a 

4. nama-rupa 

5. sad’ayatana 

6. sparga 

7. vedana 

8. trSTia 

9. upadana 
10. bh(wa 


11. jati 

12. jara-marana 


The E7id 



INDEX 


I. Propier Naimes 


Abhidharma-kocaf 1., 17, 50, passim. 
Ahhidharma-vibhasa'Castra, 2. 
Abhidharmists, 23. 

Aga monastery (Transbaikalia), 77. 
Acvaghosa, 4, 

Ajivika, 4, 18, 70, 73. 

Asatiga, 2. 

Astrachan, 3. 

Bahu-dhatuka~8utra^ 3. 

Bergson, 32, 33. 

Bhadanta, 60. 

Bhavya, 38. 

Buddhaghosa, 23, 27, 51, 55. 
Buddhadeva, 30, 31, 38, 39, 65, 66. 

Car aka, 26. 

Oankara, 65. 

Grilabha, 43. 

DJiamma-songanij 3, 

Dharmakirti, 14, 35, 45, 46, 52. 
Dharmatrata, 38, 65. 

Derge, 77. 

Dignaga, 2, 15, 16, 46. 

Garb ha vakranti-sutraj 31. 
Gaiulapada-karika, 67. 

Ghosa, 38, 66. 

Hiuen-Tlisang, 36, 77, 

Hnme, 23. 

Jaina, -ism, 29, 41, 43, 66, 68, 60. 

Kacika,- (vrtti)j 67, 

Kacyapiya, 36. 

Kant, 16, 46, 84. 

Katha-mtthUf 32, 36. 
Kathahopankad^ 66. ff. 
Ksam-hhanga-siddhif 32. 
KuTnaralahhai 10 . 

Lagudacikhiyaka, 72, 


JMadhyamika, 55, 57. 

Mahavira, 56. 

Maha-Bahuiovada-S'utra, 5L 
Mchims-pa, 66, 82. 

Mimamsaka, 52. 

Nagarjuna, 4, 51. 

Naiyayika, 33. 

Nya,yo.-bindu-iiha, 32, 57. 
Nyaya-Vaicesika, 16, 54. 

Panini, 19, 57. 

Patanjali, 37, 38. 

Param arth a-canyata-s iitra, 72 . 

Eatnakirti, 32. 

Eussell, Bertrand, 44. 

Sammitiya, 58. 

Sanghabkadra, 77. 

Samyuktagama, 53, 72. 

Sankhya, 3, 9, 10, 14, 19, 23, 24,. 

39, 52, 53, 56, 57, 66. 
Sankhya-hariha, 14. 

Sanhhya-sutra, 32. 

Sankhya- Yoga, 36, 39, 43, 55, 73, 
Sarva-darcana-sangraha, 62. 
Sarvastivada, -din, 1, 4, 6, 20, 22, 
27, 34, 35, 38, 44, 52, 54, 59, 62, 
63, 64, 67. 

Santrantika, 10, 20, 34, 36, 52, 56,. 
62, ff. 

Sncruta, 26, 31. 

Thera-vada, 4, 15, 26. 

Tnngaz, 2. 

Uddyotakara, 16, 59. 

Upavisad^ 51, 67, 58, 60. 

Vacaspati- (micra), 23, 38, 55. 
Vaibhasika, 50, 62, ff. 

— Kacmirian, 52. 



92 


THh CKN'IRAL CONCEP J ION OF BUDDHISM 


Vaicesika, 54, 55. V ij/,a/i-Marm sifhihi, 25. 

Varsaganya, 76. Vijnanavada, -din, 20, 52, 54, 55 

Vasiibandhu, the old, 2. Vinitadeva, 20. 

— the great, 1, 2, 20, 22, jmssiw. 1 yostt^ 57, 58, 29, pdssif^f. 
Vasurnitra, 38, 50, 65. 

Vatsiputriy^a, 21, 58, 59. \oconiiti’a, 2, 3, 4, 18. j)(issi'HK 

Vibliajyavadin, 36, 64. Yoga, 57, 58, 

11. SANSKRIT TERMS 


abhidharnia, 25, 27, 32, 53, 39 
42, passim. 

abhisainskarofci (cetana), 17. 
akucala, 42, 85. 
atioaya-adhana, 57, n. 
atyuha-avastlia, 87. 
adrsta, 18, 27. 
advesa, 84. 
e.dhipati-pratyaya, 89. 
adhipati-phala, 67. 89. 
adhimoksa, 84. 
adhitya-samntpada, 57. n. 
adhyavasaya, 14. 
adhyatma-ayatana, 6, 51, 79. 
adhvan, 35, 36, 38, 81, 
anatyuha-avastha, 87. 
anapatrapya, 85. 

anatman, 21, 43, .48, 55, 56, 57, 69, 
60. 

anasrava, 16, 43, 78, 79, 81. 

anitya, 21, 32. 

anityata, 33, 89. 

aniyata-bhmnika-dharma, 83, 86. 

anutpatti-dharma, 35, 42. 

anuparivartaHa, 26. 

ajiucaya, 30. 

anna, 60. 

anna-vicesa, 26. 

up, 82. 

apatrapa, 84. 

apeksa, 38. 

apek.sa-parinama, 64. 

apurva, 27, 82. 

apratisatlkhya-nirodha, 89. 

apratica, 85. 

apramada, 84. 

aprapti, 20, 88. 

•ainipa-Bhatn, 9, 80. 


, arupino dhavmah, 13. 
alobha, 84. 
avacara, 8. 
avastha, 38, 39. 
avastha-parinama, 64. 
avijnapti (-rupa), 5, 6, 82. 
avidya, 25, 28, 30, 61, 78, 84, 86, 
89, 90. 

avyakvta, 27, 28, 86. 
acraddba, 84. 

asamskrta, 5, 13, 34, 44, 69, 78, 89. 
asanjini-sainapatti, 20, 88. 
asata ntpadah, 32n. 1. 
ahimsa, 84. 

akaca empty space, 89. 

—foodstuff), 16. 

atman, 3, 21. 

atma-vada-din, 21. 

ayatana, 2, 7ff., 60, 73, 76, 79. 

apas, 60. 

arambha-vada, 65, 60. 
ary a, 41, 78. 
arya-satya, 40, 81. 
alambana, 15, 49, 80. 
alambana-pratitya-samutpada, 89-90. 
acraya, 48, 49, 64. 
alambana-pratyaya, 89. 
alaya-vijnana, 54, 56. 
alocana, 52. 

avastika-pratitya-samutpada , 89-90. 

acraya, 48, 49, 54. 

acrita, 38. 

acrita-satka, 49. 

asanjnuka, 88. 

ahrikya, 86. 

indriya, 10, 15, 28, 54,. 78, 80. 
irana, 11, 33, 82. 



IM>KX 


9.H 


irsya, 85. 

utwarsa, 19, 25, 57n. 
utpatti, 9, 43. 
utpatti-dharnia, 35, 40. 
utpada, 53. 
udgrahana, 15-16. 

upakara (/rr^i/ts* saniskara), 18-19, 
67n. 

Upakeleua- (paritta-) -bhumika- 
dharma, 83, 85. 
upacaya, 27, 29. 

Tipacaya-ja, 26-27, 28. 
upacaya-santana, 29. 
iipanaha, 85. 
upalaksana, 33-34. 
upasarpana-pratyaya, 89. 
upadana, 90. 

upadana-skandha, 35, 40, 78 , 81. 
upadaya-rupa, 30-31. 
iipeksa, 84. 

audarika, 84. 
auddhatya, 85. 

katha-vastu, 81. 
kaii^na, 89. 

karma, 16, 26-27, 27ff, 82, 89. 
kalpana, 16. 

kalpanapodha, 15-16, 46. 
kama-Dhatu, 8-9, 80. 
kaya-indriya, 11. 
kaya-indriya-ayatana, 79. 
kaya-(indriya-) dhatu, 80. 
kaya-vijnana-dhatu, 8-9, 30. 
kayika-kanna, 82. 
karana-hetn, 67, 89. 
karitva, 22, 33-34, 35, 38. 
kala, 35. 

kucala-maha-bimmika-dbarma, 83, 
84. 

krfcaka, 17n. 5. 
kaukrtya, 86. 
katisidya, 84. 
kriya, .33, 34-36. 
krodha, 85. 
klistaj 17, 85. , 
kleca, 28, 29-30, 41, 86. 
klcca-maha-bbumika-dharma, 83, 84. 
kaana, -ika, -ikatva, 23, 32, 34-35, 
37-58, 46, 61. 


gati, 35. 

gandha-ayatana, 7, 79. 
gandha-dhatu, 80. 
guna, 12, 18-19. 
gimantara-adhana, 67n. 
ghrana-indriya-ayatana. 7, 79. 
ghrana (indriya) dhatu, 80 
ghraua-vijnana-dhatu, 8-9, 80. 

caksur-indriya, 11. 
caksur-indriya-ayatana, 6, 79. 
caksur (-indriya-) dhatu, 7-8, 80. 
caksur-vijnana-dhatti, 8-9, 80. 
cit, 52, 

citta, 13, 23-24, 30-31, 31, 83. 
citta-caitta, 6, 7, 46-46. 
citta-niaha-bhumika-dharaia, 83. 
citta-vipraynkta, 6, 18, 88. 
cetana, 13, 23-24, 16, 27, 83. 
cetana-vicesa, 87. 
caitta, 23-24, 33-34, 83. 
chanda, 84. 
jara, 33, 89. 
jati, 88. 

jihva-indriya-ayatana, 7, 79. 
jihva- (indriya) dhatu, 80. 
jihva-vijnana-dhatu, 8-9, 80. 
jiva, 21. 
jivita, 88. 

tattva, 23n., 21, 23-34. 
tan-matra, 10. 
tamas, 10. 

tatkaliki gatih, 34-35. 
trsna, 90. 
tejas, 82. 

dulika, 40, 81. 
duhkha-samudaya, 81. 
drsti-marga, 42-43. 
drsti-sthiti, 81. 
dhsti-heya, 85. 
dravya, 16, 22, 37-38.’ 
dvara, 
dvesa, 86. 
dhamma, 2, 40. 

dharma. prelimhuirtt <hfimtwn, 5" 
— full (^onn(>tation^ 61 'passim, 
dharma = tattva, 23n., 2. 
dharma-ayatana, 7, 13, 14, 79. 
dharmata, 21, 4142, 61, 68. 
dharma-dharmi-bhava, 23. 



‘94 


THE CENTRAL CONCEPTION OF BUDDHISM 


dharma-dhatu, 7-8, 49, 80. 
dhai’ina-pravicaya, 2, 41, 84. 
'wharma-matram, 57. 
dliarma-laksana, 35. 
dhanna-sanketa, 23-24. 
dhanna-svabhava, 35, 78. 
dharmah, 7, 13, 14. 49, 64, 72-73, 
79, 80. 

dharmin, 23, 37-38. 
dhatu [the 18), 2-3. 7-8, 12, 27, 
28, 80. 

Dhatu (the 3), 8-9, 80. 

Bama, 6, 20. 

Nama-kaya, 89. 

Baiiia-rupa, 6, 90. 
nikaya-sabhagata, 20. 
nidra, 86. 
nitya, 35. 

Bidana, 23-24, 27. 
nimitta, 15-16. 

Bxrantara-utpada, 33n., 50n., 1. 
iiii*anvaya-viiica, 52. 
nirodha, 2, 40, 78. 
nirodha-samapatti, 19-20, 88. 

Birjiva (nijjivo), 23. 
nirvaina, 6, 13, 21, 44, 78. 
rdrvicara-nirvikalpa-prajna, 88. 
nivrta, 85. 
nivrta-tvyakrta, 85. 

Bisyanda, 29. 
nisyanda-pbala, 67, 89. 
nitartba (technical scme)^ 23n., 2. 
Beyartha (fopnlar sense) ^ 25n., 3. 
nairatmya, 21, 58, 61. 
paBca-vijnana-kayika, 86. 
pada, 20. 
pada-kaya, 89, 
paramartha-sat, 35-36, 46. 
paraspara-upakara, -in, 57n. 
paricchitti, 15-16. 
parinama-dubkha, 40. 
parinama-vada, 39, 52, 60. 
paritta-bhumika, 86. 
paryesaka, 87. 
pndgala, 3, 8, 21, 59. 
pudgala-vada, -din 21, 58. 
pumsa, 14, 52. 
pnmsa-kara-phala. 89. 


prthaktva, 32. 
prthag-jana, 78. 
prtbag-dharma, 13. 
prthivi (not a substance), 23; (an 
element), 82. 
paudgalika, 29. 
prajnapti, 19-20. 
prajna, 26, 28, 42, 78, 84. 
prajna ainala, 29-30, 41-42, 42-43. 
prajna anasrava, 41-42. 
prajna-vicesa, 87, 88. 
pratiksana-parinania, 37. 
pratibuddha, 42-43. 
pratimoksa, 42-43. 
pratiyatna, 57. 
prativijnapti, 14, 42-43. 
pratisankliya-nirodha, 42-43, 89. 
pratisandhi-vijnana, 90. 
pratisarana, 53-54. 
pratitya, 7, 45-46. 
pratitya-samutpada, 23-24, 25, 46, 

89. 

pratyaveksaka, 88. 
pradasa, 85. 
pramada, 84. 
pracrabdhi, 84. 
prasankhyana, 42-43. 
prasrabdhi, 84. 

prakarsika-pratitya-samutpada, 80- 

90. 

prana, 59-60. 
prapti^ 22. 

mana-indriya-ayatana, 7, 79. 
buddhanueasani (dharmata), 21, 58. 
bodhi-sattva, 44, 74. 
brahma, 34-35. 
bhava, 81. 

bhava (harma-hhava) , 90. 
bhava, 13, 65. 
bhava-parinama, 64. 
bhavana (vasana), 16. 
bhavana-heya, 42-43, 86. 
bhuta, 23-24, 25-26, 30-31, 31. 
bhautika, 12, 23-24, 25-26, 31, 

33-34. 

mati, 25-26, 41-42, 84. 
mada, 85. 

mana indriya-ayatana, 7, 79. 



INDEX 


95 


man*, 15, 53-54, 59-60, 64. 

manasikara, 84. 

mano dhatu, 87, 88. 

mano-whatu, 87, 88. 

mano'bhumika, 85. 

mano-vijnana-dhatu, 7-8, 8-9, 14,15. 

maha-bhuta, 10, 11, 33-34, 

maha-purusa, 29. 

matsarya, 85. 

mana, 86. 

maya, 85. 

marga, 40, 79. 

middha, 86. 

moha, 84, 86, 

mraksa, 85. ^ 

rana, 81. 

rasa-ayatana, 7, 79. 
rasa-dhatu, 80. 
raga, 86. 

rupa, 5, 6, 9-10 ff., 81, 82. 
rupa-ayatana, 6, 8, 14, 79. 
rupa-citta-viprayakta-samskara, 18- 
19, 88. 

rupa-dharma, 10, 81, 82. 
rupa-dhatu, 7-8, 80. 
ruga-Dhatu, 8-9, 43, 80. 
mpa-prasada, 10, 28, 81, 82. 
laksaaa, 22, 25-26, 31, 34, 38, 39, 89. 
linga-carira, 10. 
loka, 8-9, 81. 

vacika-karma, 82. 
vasaHa, 16, 27. 
vikara, 5-7n. 
vikalpa, 46, 89. 
vicara, 86, 87, 88. 
vacikitsa, 86. 
vijnapti, 10. 

vijtiatia, 6, 13, 14, 15-16, 16, 52, 
69-60 fassm. 

vijnana {-'pratisandM-vijana), 90. 
vitarka, 86, 87, 88. 
vipaka, 27, 28, 29. 
vipaka-ja, 28, 29-30. 
vipaka-phala, 26-27, 67, 89, 
vipaka-betu, 27, 67, 89. 
vipaka-satatia, 29. 
vipdayakta-samskara, 13. 
virnddba-dharma-samsarga, 52ai. 


vivarta-vada, 55. 
visaya, 10, 15, 49, 80. 
visamvoga-phala, 89. 

Yihimsa, 85. 
virya, 84. 

vedana, 5, 13, 83, 90. 
Yedana-skandha, 5, 81. 
vyanjana, 20. 

Yyanjana-kaya, 89. 

cakti, 37-38. 
cabda-ayatana, 6, 79. 
cabda-dbatn, 80. 
cathya, 85, 
canta, 21. 

cuddba-pratyaksa, 46. 
craddha, 84. 

crotra-indriya-ayatana, 80. 
crotra- (indriya-) dhatu, 8-9, 80. 
crotra-vijnana-dhatu, 8-9, 80. 

satka, 46. 
sad-syatana, 90. 
sad-dhatuka, 31. 
sad-vijnana-kayah, 14-15, 48. 
samyoga, 33-34. 

saniskara, 6, 6, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 
33, 44n., 89, passim, 
samskara-vices, 28. 
samskara-samuha, 4. 
saniskara-saduha-santana, ( = Gaiir 
ra), 19-20. 

samskara-skandha, 5, 15-16, 81. 
samskrta-dbanna, 18-19, 33, 34, 

57ii., 69, 78, 79. 

samskrtatva (=:pratitva-saniutpaii- 
natva), 23-24. 
samskrta-laksanani, 52, 89. 
samstbana, 9-10. 
sankleca-yyavadana, 61. 
sanghata-paramanu, 12. 
sanghata-vada, 55, 60. 
sancetayati, 16. 
sanjna, 5, 14-15, 83. 
sanjna-skandba, 5, 81. 
sat-kaya-drsti, 41-42, 42-43, 54-56. 
sat-kaya-aiatigraba-drsti-sainpra- 
yukta, 85. 

sat-kay€b-vada, 37, 38. 



96 


THE CENTRAL CONCEPJ IJN Ol BUDDHISM 


sattva, 10, 21. 
sattvakhya, 27. 
satya, 40, 79. 
sanihsarana, 81. 

Santana, 7-8, 16, 22, 29-30, 
'passim. 

sapratighatva, 9-10, 82. 
sabhaga-ja, 28. 
sabhaga-nisyanda, 28, 67. 
sabhaga-hetu, 26-27, 28, 67, 89. 
samanantara-pratyaya, 89. 
samadhi, 25-26, 84. 
samadhi-vicesa, 28. 
samapatti, 9, 43, 88. 
samudaya, 40. 
samprayukta-hetu, 89. 
samprayoga, 25 , 26, 27 , 30-31. 
sambhuya-kartiva, 17n., 2-3. 
Sana, 4, 7-8, 78, 79. 


sahakariri, 57. 
sapeksika, 25. 
sainanya, 20 
salambana, 14-15. 

80, sarupya, 46, 47, 53. 
sasrava, 41, 80, 81. 
sty ana, 84. 
sthiti, 33, 89. 
sparaca, 13, 14-15, 45-46 
sparastavya-syatana, 7, ' 
sprastavya-dhatn, 80. 
smrti, 84. 
sphota, 19-20. 
svapna-vicesa, 28. 
sva-;prakaca, 44-45. 
svabhava, 33-34. 
svabhava-vikalpa, 88. 
svkalsana, 22, 34-35, 46. 

hadaya-vatthu, 15-16. 
hetu-pratyaya, 89. 
hri, 84. 


sarvatraga-hetu, 24. 15 , 50 , 31, 33. 
34, 39, 

sarvada asti, 35.